SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS America held a morale-boosting event called America Day at Mariner's Park Aug. 26.
The event included food, games, and celebrity appearances by Kira Kazantsev, Miss America, country artist Michael Peterson and former American Idol contestants Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo.
After a full day's work, America Sailors transited for the ship to the park to relax, unwind and spend time with family and friends.
The event began with finger foods, mingling and games of cornhole, volleyball and basketball. Children lined up for face painting and a chance to bounce in the inflatable playhouse.
"I really thought it was great that they had things that kids could be involved in, especially the face painting," said Yeoman Seaman Kaleb Sisson, a participant. "That was great, the food was great. It was a special day."
Soon after, the celebrities were introduced and immediately began meeting Sailors and their families. Each of the celebrities made themselves available to sign autographs and take photos.
Afterward, America's last three talent show winners, Personnel Specialist Seaman Jametric Mack, Yeoman Seaman Kaleb Sisson and Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Acosta, were called to the stage to show off their talents while the celebrities judged the performances.
Mack sung an a cappella version of "Someone Like You" by pop recording artist Adele. Sisson performed a modern dance and Acosta played "Afterlife" by metal group Avenged Sevenfold on his guitar.
"I was a little nervous at first, but I just wanted to go out there and have fun," said Sisson. "My goal was to show everyone something new, and I did that. I received a lot of positive feedback from the judges and my peers, and I'm quite happy about that."
"I was pleased with my performance, but really, my favorite part of the day was seeing how happy everyone was to spend time with their families and friends," said Mack. "We don't always get that time because of our demanding schedule, but it was great to see."
Afterward, the judges provided feedback to the performers and awarded each of them with special gifts.
Following the talent show and a short intermission, Kazantsev introduced the other celebrity performers as they each took the stage.
Peterson was first followed by a duet with DeGarmo and Young. After performing, all of the special guests expressed their gratitude to the service members.
"As Miss America, I feel like it's my responsibility to come visit our troops," said Kazantsev. "I have so much respect and admiration for what you guys do and I want to say thank you. This is my last event that I will attend before starting the pageant tour. This has been a great event and I can't think of a better way to end it."
Peterson, who has performed in more than 100 events for service members around the world, said he is always happy to give his best for the troops.
"We are here to support our men and women in uniform," said Peterson. "We don't care if there are five people or 500 people here to see us. What we care about is the people."
For more news from USS America (LHA 6), visit www.navy.mil/local/lha6/.