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The 25th Year of Family Fest of Fun

U.S. military bases all over the world are kicking off Month of the Military Child with events celebrating the military child. As McConnell Air Force Base prepares to host their 25th year of the Family Festival of Fun, we are taking a look back to what started it all. Notably the most anticipated family event on base, the Family Festival of Fun offers an amazing array of activities for all ages but it wasn't always a fixture here at McConnell. It was started 25 years ago by Military and Family Readiness Center Director Mary Reece and Wendy Ozment, who ran the Child and Youth programs at McConnell. 

"I became the director here and I said 'I want to do some sort of carnival, like a parade for the military child' and then Wendy Ozment ran Child and Youth and she's like 'let's do it' so we planned it and instead of doing a parade we ended up doing a carnival and it's just grown ever since," said Reece.

The duo wanted to put on the event as a way to give back to military children. "They have to do so many sacrifices that people don't realize to support their parents in the military. So we just wanted to do something fun just for them."

In honor of this milestone celebration of military children, a few more things have been added. 

"We'll have fire performers but instead of fire the 316 Fire Troop is going to do performances using swords, juggling, dragon staffs that LED glow. A few more different vendors that haven't been there in the past, USO is bringing out a big coffee van, the storm tracker is bringing out their big storm van, Guard and Reserves are joining forces with us - they have lots of great food, the Sedgwick County Master Gardeners are coming out to plant plants with us and then our favorite will be the farm animals and pony rides which is always a kids favorite," said Reece. 

"Plus lots of crafts, games, and free food. You can get your kids fingerprinted, you can ride on a firetruck or ride in a police car. You can go through a smoke house. You can jump on inflatables, you can do crafts, games, and have a free lunch. Plus all the helping agencies will be there to get questions answered if you have them." 

Although Reece helped start the event, she counts volunteer staff as the main support for pulling the event off every year and she believes that the event will continue to carry on long after she's retired. 

"It's done by everybody on this base. It will carry on. It's just such a fun and great event and way to recognize our kids."

Family Festival of Fun takes place this Saturday, April 15, from 10am to 2pm. The event will have several activities including a petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, games, and free food. You can find a full schedule of events including times and location of activities below.

TimeSaturday, April 15 @10am-2pm (Egg Hunt starts @8:45am)
In and Outside the Dole Center
Wearing purple for PurpleUp Day is encouraged


From 8:45-10am Easter Egg Hunt (Softball Field behind the Dole Center)

  • EFMP @ 8:45am
  • Youth Ages 0-3 @ 9:30am
  • Youth Ages 4-6 @ 9:40am
  • Youth Ages 7-12 @ 9:50am

From 10:00am – 2:00pm (Bleckley Lounge Parking Lot)

  • Pony Rides
  • Petting Zoo – Farm Animal Exhibit
  • Cotton Candy
  • Snow Cones
  • Ice Cream Truck – Mel Hambelton
  • USO Mobiles – Coffee/Hot Cocoa Bar with games & Girl Scout Cookies
  • Plant a Plant with Master Gardners of Sedgwick County
  • Sand Art
  • Duck Pond
  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Sidewalk Chalk Art
  • KSN Storm Tracker Van/Info Table
  • Outdoor Rec Trailer/Boat and Corn Hole
  • CE Heavy Equipment & Dump Truck
  • McConnell Recycle Root Beer Floats

From 10am – 2pm (Front of Building Parking Lot)

  • Fire Truck Rides
  • Security Forces Police Car Rides
  • Smoke House
  • SFS Finger printing
  • Static Display

10am – 2pm Inflatables (Big Gym in Fitness Center)

  • Rugged Warrior Course (Tire Run, Cork Screw, Double Slide)
  • Pirate Ship
  • Rocket Castle
  • Archery Targets

Stage Performers

316 Fire Troop will perform at 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30 on stage in ballroom


McGruff & Sparky


Food and drinks will be served in Bleckley Lounge

  • Hamburgers & Hot Dogs/w chips
  • Chick-Fil-A nuggets
  • Papa Johns Pizza
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Fuzzy's Taco Shop
  • Freddy's Custard
  • Cupcakes
  • Bottled Water or Capri Juices

Activities in the Dole Center Hallway

  • Adopt A Bear
  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Bead Necklaces
  • Book Walk
  • Butterfly Clothespins
  • Buttons
  • Candy Table
  • Chalk Art
  • Clothespin Bugs
  • Corn Hole
  • Cup Game
  • Daisy Flower Decorating
  • Decorate A Cookie
  • Duck Pond
  • Egg Toss
  • Egg Flowers
  • Fishing Pond
  • Flower & Sticker Art
  • Plant a Plant
  • Plinko
  • Pony Bead Bracelets
  • Positivity Door Hangers
  • Puzzle Family Crafts
  • Root Beer Float Kits
  • Sand Art
  • Scratch Off Activities
  • Spin the Wheel for GS Cookies
  • STEM Pinwheel
  • Tattoos

Information / Activity Tables

  • 184th Kansas Air National Guard
  • 931st & M&FRC
  • American Red Cross
  • Arts & Crafts Center
  • Chapel
  • Child & Youth Programs
  • Commissary
  • Community Center
  • Davis Moore Candy Tables
  • Dental Clinic
  • Derby Teachers As Parents
  • Exchange
  • FAP/Mental/ADAPT
  • Freedom First Credit Union
  • Integrated Resilience (IRD)
  • Library
  • M&FRC
  • McConnell Recycle
  • Military Family Housing
  • Military One Source
  • Outdoor Rec
  • SAPR
  • School Liaison Program
  • Sed Ct Master Gardeners
  • Storm Tracker 3
  • USO Kansas

Sponsor Tables

  • J Bias Real Estate
  • First Command
  • Mel Hambelton
  • Waring Electric Generac
  • Renewal by Anderson
  • USAA and Envision
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