A Starry Snowy Southwest Night is a free event for anyone with base access. The event had many festivities for children, such as 50 tons of snow, hot chocolate, cookies, hayrides, a tree lighting, and photos with Santa. This year included a skating rink for the children.
“The snow is an amazing thing for the kids since most children born in Arizona have never seen snow,” said Jennifer States, 355th Force Support Squadron recreation assistant. “I think the kids enjoyed that the most because it’s so rare.”
Last year, more than 1,500 people came out to enjoy the festivities. This year, there were approximately 2,800 individuals that came out.
“The best part of this event is the sense of family,” said Lt. Col. Terry Koester, 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “It’s a great community event.”
The Christmas tree was lit by Col. James Meger, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, with help from a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus.
“It’s amazing to see the look on the kid’s faces when they get to see Santa,” States said. “It’s rewarding to be able to give back to the community with this amazing free event.”
Several squadrons from around the base, along with off-base sponsors, helped put this event on for the base populous.
The event was hosted by the 355th FSS. The 355th FSS is responsible for providing world-class combat and community support by delivering superior morale, welfare, recreation, manpower and personnel program services for the 355th FW, the D-M community and their families.