Robert Yearicks, 9, Army Family member, gives a high five to Darth Vader, 501st Legion, Alabama Garrison, at the Children’s Festival April 12. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)
Published: April 17, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 17, 2014) -- Super heroes in all shapes and sizes, and a few stormtroopers, could be seen April 12 at the Fort Rucker Festival Fields as children and parents experienced a free day full of fun.
The Children’s Festival, which included fun activities aimed at children from pre-school age to young teenagers, is produced each year by Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which aims to provide Families with opportunities to spend quality time together.
“Children’s Festival was a huge hit this year as there were over 4,000 patrons in attendance! With this being the first time in two years that the festival was able to be held outdoors due to weather, we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout,” said Brain Jackson, DFMWR program manager.
The theme this year was super heroes, and Jackson said it was exciting to see so many children, adults and staff dress up as their favorite super hero, including Soldiers.
And many Families appreciated the fact that DFMWR held an event of this nature.
“I love the events that the installation holds for its Families. All of the events that are focused towards the children are always fun and organized. And my son, Abraham, always has a great time. There are always several things that keep him interested,” said Brandy Hill, Army spouse.
The Hill Family attended last year’s festival, but enjoyed this year more because of the beautiful weather and the large amounts of booths that catered towards children of many ages.
“To me, it seems that Fort Rucker is always trying to find ways to make the Families feel special and that we are important, too,” she said. “It is important that Families are included in community life, and I know we all appreciate that Fort Rucker does what it can to make sure we are happy and healthy as well.”
By having community events such as the festival, Hill believes that it helps the morale at home, which in turn helps Soldiers at work.
“I know my husband is happy at work because he knows we are happy at home, and if home life is good, then the Army life is good,” she said.
The day was full of activity with the Easter Bunny and two Easter egg hunts, several arts and craft booths, numerous attending Marvel and DC Comic book characters, a petting zoo, a stilt walker, food vendors, an obstacle course, live entertainment, a magic show and inflatables.
The most talked about attraction is arguably the six members of a “Star Wars” assembly from the 501st Legion from the Alabama Garrison that were available for free photos.
“It is nice for (my daughter) to experience all the excitement and activities that are going on. It’s great to do something as a Family,” said Elizabeth Pierce, Army spouse. “Families need just as much support as the Soldiers. Events like this allow us to take advantage of my husband’s days off, and right now he is taking pictures with Darth Vader, so I know he is having fun, too.”
Although smiling faces could be seen throughout the afternoon, none of the children were as excited as when the egg hunts began.
There were more than 1,500 children that participated, said Jackson.
“My favorite part of the event was seeing the passion and excitement of the kids during the egg hunts,” he said. “We are already excited about next year’s event because (this one) was so much fun!”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/124286/
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