Interim president Rodney Allbright and a student cut the cake with a sword in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. A child explores COM's training fire engine.

College of the Mainland’s 50th Birthday Bash: A Family Day Event celebrated 50 years of service to the community with classic cars, kids’ zone and local food trucks.

More than 1,200 people attended the event featuring a kids' zone with petting zoo, zip line, face painting and reptile encounter with turtles, snakes and an iguana.

COM’s new a capella group, Duck and Cover, performed as well as the COM Jazz Ensemble, COM Concert Band, Mainland Chorale, COM Electric Guitar Trio, COM Saxophone Ensemble and the Greater Barbour’s Hill Chapel Baptist Church choir.

Families climbed inside COM’s training fire engine and ambulance to honk their sirens, created watercolors and drawings in the art department, and toured the COM campus and Walk Through History.

The 50th anniversary celebration continues throughout the 2016-17 school year. The COM Community Theatre will perform "COM Wasn't Built in a Day,” an original production by H. Russ Brown, COM artistic director, from Nov. 3 to 20. The comedy is loosely based on COM’s founding in 1966. For tickets, visit

For more information on COM’s 50-year history of service to the community, visit