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.
|Time||Saturday, April 15 @10am-2pm (Egg Hunt starts @8:45am)|
|Location||In and Outside the Dole Center|
|Wearing purple for PurpleUp Day is encouraged|
From 10:00am – 2:00pm (Bleckley Lounge Parking Lot)
Activities in the Dole Center Hallway
Information / Activity Tables
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.refuelmcconnell.com/