The annual Starry, Snowy, Southwest Night holiday celebration was held at Bama Park, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1.
The event was organized by the 355th Force Support Squadron and Outdoor Recreation with approximately 20 Airmen, spouse, retired and civilian volunteers assisting during it.
Desert Lightning Team members and their families were invited to enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies while participating in festivities such as photos with Santa, a giant rocking horse, a mechanical snowboard, arts and crafts and much more.
Sixty tons of snow was dropped off so attendees could experience activities not usually found in Tucson’s desert environment.
“We know how many people are deployed from this base and it’s really about making sure that (their families) have a happy holiday,” said Connie Knoob, Outdoor Recreation director.
Col. Scott Campbell, 355th Fighter Wing commander, addressed everyone at the event and introduced Santa Claus during a tree lighting ceremony. Santa invited children of deployed Airmen to assist him in lighting the base tree.
“It’s a pretty amazing opportunity for the kids and the whole family to come out in Arizona and have a little winter wonderland and play in the snow,” said Senior Master Sgt. Daryl Hogan, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron first sergeant. “It brings holiday cheer to the families of deployed members and a little bit of home, regardless of where you are from.”
Approximately 3,000 Desert Lightning Team members and their families attended the holiday festivities.