More than 4,000 community members turned out for the Night of Extraordinary Lights event Friday and Saturday night at the Mountain View Golf Course.
Fort Huachuca’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation put on the NOEL event for the third year in a row. It was free and open to the public.
“I enjoy the music, eating here and watching the kids and stuff,” said Minnesota snowbird Duane Marholz. “The hayride was great, just amazing. They did a lot of work out there,” said his wife Jan Marholz. This was the couple’s first time at NOEL but they have been coming to southern Arizona for 20 years.
A brightly lit hayride was not the only attraction at this year’s NOEL. A crafts area where youth could write letters to Santa, decorate mini stockings, coloring, snowflakes and more; along with holiday movies, caroling, photos with Santa, a s’more pit and more were provided for guests to enjoy with Family and friends.
“I love it. There is a lot of fun for the kids, and it’s great to have family time and get everyone out here,” said military spouse, Amber Sims, who was in attendance for the second year.
A foam machine acted as fake snow falling from the sky while attendees waited in line for the hayrides.
“I think it is good to have something that gives holiday spirit. We are in the middle of the desert so it doesn’t really have a Christmas feel, and this gives it one,” said Sierra Vista resident, Kisha Collins, who had four kids in tow.
Craft vendors selling everything from jewelry and clothing to holiday ornaments were set up in a separate building for holiday shopping. Hot chocolate and food was available for purchase.