CARRABELLE — A special slate of of events is planned for the Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum’s celebration of the 25th annual Camp Gordon Johnston Days on March 13-15 in Carrabelle.
“This year especially, the museum needs the community’s support and participation to make the celebration and particularly the parade more special for our veterans than ever,” said Sheri Wesson, event spokeswoman.
At 6 p.m. EST on Friday, the Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 in Lanark Village invites all WWII veterans, WWII widows/widowers, non-WWII veterans (with proof of service), active duty military, and members of Post 82 to a Low Country Boil in their honor. Each veteran or member is welcome to bring one guest. This event is not open to the general public. For details, call 850-697-9998.
Then on Saturday, March 14, the annual Camp Gordon Johnston Days Parade pays tribute to all veterans of all branches of service, starting at 10:45 a.m. EST. This year’s community parade is expected to feature vintage museum vehicles including the WWII DUKW, Willis Jeep, and German Lieferwagen, as well as more recent military vehicles and motorcycles. JROTC units, color guards, veteran organizations and auxiliary units will join civic and community floats, decorated golf carts, classic cars, Shriners and beauty queens of all ages.
In addition, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s First Florida Chapter will bring their restored vintage military vehicles to carry veterans in the parade as it winds through downtown Carrabelle along U.S. 98.
“We are still actively recruiting parade participants — all are welcome — as we hope to make this 25th year bigger and better than ever for our military veterans,” Wesson said.
After the parade, CGJ Museum’s historical vehicles will be on display at the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum, 1873 U.S. 98 West. The public is invited to see these vehicles up close and to tour the museum on from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Saturday.
The museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and preserve the heritage of the men and women who trained at the camp during WWII. The museum also promotes the history and accomplishments of all those who served during WWII, including the gigantic effort that the nation as a whole poured into the conflict.
Festivities continue with a special event — the Camp Gordon Johnston Days Dinner Dance — at the Franklin County Senior Center, 201 N.W. Avenue F., in Carrabelle. Enjoy a 1940s era dinner and music with veterans. The suggested donation is $15 for advance tickets; $20 at the door if any tickets are still available. Seating is limited. For details, call 850-697-3760.
The museum will also host a Dice Run on Sunday to raise funds for constructing a vehicle display building next to the current facility. All types of vehicles are welcome to participate. Registration is $15 for the driver and $5 for each passenger and will be open from noon to 1:30 p.m. EST at the museum. The Dice Run will conclude by 4:30 p.m. EST.
Prizes for high and low rollers, door prizes and 50-50 will be awarded. For more information about the Dice Run, contact Mark Melcher at 850-228-6477 or Jim Newton at 260-341-7291. For more information on these events, contact the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum at 850-697-8575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.