Airmen and their families congregated in the Hope Chapel parking lot for this year’s Harvest Festival Oct. 31.
Harvest Festival is an alternative to Halloween trick-or-treating. The festival featured a plethora of activities including face painting, game booths, costume contest, candy, prizes and more.
“So much of what you see and experience on Halloween is zombies and death and those kinds of things,” said Capt. (Chaplain) Raymond Boyer, 355th Fighter Wing head chaplain. “We wanted to have a place where people come with their families and kids, have a good time and not have to worry about their kids seeing anything inappropriate or getting scared. We tried to make it a positive environment for families and kids.”
The turnout for this year’s festival was better than expected with more than 1,000 participants.
“Last year when we had it, we had around 500 people show up,” Boyer said. “This year, we thought that around 600 people would show up, but it turned out to be around double that. We had around 1,200 people show. It was far beyond our expectations.”
Events such as this provide families a chance to be social with other Desert Lightning Team members.
“This gave people a place to come together,” Boyer said. “When you go trick-or-treating, it’s a family thing and you don’t connect with the other families. But this was a chance for everyone to gather as a community. I think it’s really important for people to have those opportunities to meet others and further those relationships.”