.

Members of the community donate toys at the 8th annual Guitar Pull at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. Nov. 16, 2016. More than 1,800 Marines, Sailors and members of the community came together to enjoy a free concert with musical artists like Trace Adkins, Jerrod Niemann, Josh Turner and more. The event brought forth an opportunity for service members and locals to interact with each other in a unique environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. N.W. Huertas/ Released)

More than 1,800 Marines, Sailors and members of the local community came together during the 8th annual WRNS Guitar Pull at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Nov. 16 to enjoy another of these popular, free concerts. Like previous years, the stage was jammed with country music artists like Trace Adkins, Jerrod Niemann, Josh Turner and others.

"We have put this event together with the WRNS radio station for the past eight years," said Beth McKenzie, the Marine Corps Community Services marketer at MCAS Cherry Point. "We open the base to the community and give them an opportunity to interact with Department of Defense personnel in a fun environment filled with live performances."

According to McKenzie, the event has grown in popularity over the years. This year, tickets for the event were gone within a half hour of their release to the public.

"This is a nice opportunity to come and say thanks to the men and women who serve our country," said Trace Adkins, a country music singer performing at the event. "Any time I get a chance to play for service members it’s always a thrill. It’s always a lot of fun and the audience is very appreciative. I always look forward to events like these."

Toy donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program were accepted during the event. Those who donated received raffle tickets for chances to win an autographed guitar from the artists.

"I came here to volunteer for the concert but gained a lot more," said Lance Cpl. Darren Thirbenny, a flight equipment technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. "Being able to see all these people is an eye opener. I am not very familiar with the area yet but getting to see so much of the community come out and share in this special event with us feels incredible."

The concert created an opportunity for service members and locals to interact and come together during an evening of fun and entertainment that lasted through the dying echo of the final guitar strum.