Goodfellow AFB Kicks Off Holiday Season With Annual Tree Lightning
SAN ANGELO, TX – On Friday evening families at Goodfellow Air Force Base received a very special surprise from Santa Clause. With its annual tree-lighting ceremony and family-friendly activities, the air force base kicked off the holiday season.
The annual event is very important to active service members and their families as it represents a traditional holiday celebration in what can be a non-traditional season for many of them. For those who are not serving in the military, the holidays can be a time to see loved ones and spend quality time together, for military families that is not always the case.
“Activities like these are very important for military families because there are separations that we have no control over,” said Amber Troiano, Events Center Manager. “It can be a really hard time and things like this just give the kids a way to get out of their mindset and really experience the joy of the season without everything else that may be looming over their heads.”
Santa Clause arrived in style aboard a fire truck to cheers from everyone in the crowd. Kids and their parents lined up for a chance to take a picture with Santa. Every kid in line had the opportunity to sit with Santa and talk about what they wanted for Christmas.
WATCH: Tree Lighting at Goodfellow Air Force Base
In addition to hanging out with Santa, families in attendance had the opportunity to decorate Christmas cookies, do arts and crafts, and take pictures with Elsa and Anna from Frozen. They also received glow necklaces as they waited for the lighting of the tree.
As they waited, families had the chance to explore and take pictures with the holiday cards that line the exit road from the base. Each squadron competes every year to create the most unique and festive card and are recognized at the ceremony. The cards also help base personal get in the holiday spirit. The tree takes 2 days to put together and is the combined effort of a lot of people. During the holidays it becomes a welcome beacon for everyone entering the base.
“When you are leaving the base and have this giant Christmas tree and giant Christmas cards all the way out, it makes it a lot more fun, especially on Fridays,” said Troiano.
Earlier in the day, the families had the opportunity to attend holiday production that is hosted by the schools on base and compete in a holiday 5k. Colonel Nazario presented the awards in the 5K before Santa’s arrival.
To end the celebration Colonel Nazario took the stage to welcome everybody to the event, announce the winners of the Holiday Cards competition, and begin the countdown to light the tree.
Goodfellow would like to thank their community sponsors for their help in putting this event together that truly is special for military families. H-E-B donated over 500 cookies and drinks for the event, Shannon Medical Center donated glow necklaces, and USAAA and Kiss FM helped sponsor the event and allow the base to welcome a large number of families.
“We are really lucky to have that unique relationship with the community to where they are here to support us and give us the opportunity to support them in other community events.”
For anyone in the community interested in helping sponsor events like this at Goodfellow Air Force Base visit gogoodfellow.com to learn about upcoming community events and sponsorship opportunities. Make sure to follow Goodfellow on Facebook to stay updated with events.
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