“They do this at Dave & Buster’s and different places,” she said of the horse-racing simulator. “But you can’t actually bet on it; we’re not going to take any chances.”
Betting’s a bit of a tender subject for Cross, who said she had to rework the bash over the last couple of weeks after finding out the original plan of a casino night had run into new gambling laws. But the new event is better than ever, she said.
“It’s just going to be a whole, big, fun night,” she said. “We’ve got all kinds of things.”
Friday night’s event will be a big change from the Marines’ recent deployment in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
At the forefront of this year’s troop surge, they patrolled neighborhoods along with Baghdad security and searched for weapons and insurgents, said Staff Sgt. Matthew O. Holly, public affairs chief for the 13th Marine Expedition Unit, which included the battalion.
Also coming to Huntington Beach are three city flags given to the Marines to fly on their deployment. The city flag flew in the thick of things, Holly said.
“One of our combat outposts had flown it,” he said. “It was also on the ship when we came back.”
It won’t all be fun and games at the event, Cross said. Her group intends to recognize both supporters of the Marines and the battalion’s departing commanding officer before the party gets started.
Tickets to the event are $95 for the public; to reserve a spot, call (714) 375-3131 or e-mail HB4Marines@aol.com. It takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, 21100 Pacific Coast Highway.