Not to miss. Military Bowl events kick off tonight. Full listing.

| December 26, 2014 | 6 Comments

milbowlhelmetsThe Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO, encourages fans of all ages to enjoy this year’s festivities leading up to the 1 p.m. kickoff as Virginia Tech faces Cincinnati at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 27.

The Military Bowl will host a pair of new events Friday to help fans enjoy “Military Bowl Eve” in Annapolis. For the first time, the Military Bowl has established Official Fan Hotels in Annapolis and hopes that many fans will take part in today’s Military Bowl Gallery Walk or the Military Bowl Pub Crawl.

The Gallery Walk is from 5 to 7 p.m. with participating galleries open for the duration of the event. Maryland Wineries Association wineries will host tastings at selected galleries.

Also on Friday, the Military Bowl and Katcef Brothers, Inc., have teamed up with many of the favorite bars and restaurants in Annapolis for a pub crawl. These establishments will have food and drink specials throughout the afternoon and evening . For a complete listing of participating establishments, please visit militarybowl.org and click on the Bowl Week tab.

The day begins at 8:15 a.m. with the first-ever Military Bowl 5K beginning in the Blue parking lot on the west side of the stadium. The race course will head downtown and then loop back to the stadium, with runners being followed by participants in the Military Bowl Parade.

MilitaryBowl_048_1The Parade, featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales as well as other community- and military-themed entries, begins at 9 a.m. at City Dock and will proceed up Main Street and eventually out Rowe Boulevard to the stadium.

Budweiser, the Military Bowl and Katcef Brothers, Inc., have partnered to welcome winners in a Who’s Your Hero? promotion that saw Annapolis residents and visitors nominate their personal heroes. The winning Heroes will ride in a trolley in the Military Bowl Parade, receive hospitality at the Official Military Bowl Tailgate and enjoy the game as guests of the Bowl. Also on Saturday, the Military Bowl will Welcome Home five service members who have recently returned from abroad; they will ride in a float during the parade.

Also beginning at 9 a.m. is the Official Military Bowl Tailgate in the Blue parking lot on the west side of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Admission to the Tailgate is free. The Tailgate will feature DJ Korupt and live entertainment from local country music band Brady J and the Reaction, as well as Budweiser Build-a-Bars with food and beverages for purchase. USO ticket voucher redemption will take place in the Tailgate at the USO tent.

At 12:30 p.m., pregame festivities begin inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, including a jump by the Team Fastrax Parachute Team, the unfurling of a giant American flag and the pregame coin toss by Military Bowl Parade Grand Marshall and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bryan B. Battaglia. Delivering the game ball to game officials will be a Northrop Grumman Remotec robot similar to the one that starred in the Academy Award-winning film “Hurt Locker.”

The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman kicks off at 1 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Tickets are available by calling 888-841-2787 or visiting militarybowl.org. The box office will open at 10 a.m. on gameday.

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John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.