Fort Irwin Oktoberfest full of fun
October 1, 2009
FORT IRWIN, Calif.- The Fort Irwin community had the opportunity to share in the world-wide tradition of celebrating German culture during two days of Oktoberfest that began Sept. 25, 2009.
The original Oktoberfest is an annual event held in Munich, Germany for two weeks that celebrates Bavarian culture with food, beverages, music, carnival rides and a parade. At Fort Irwin, Oktoberfest has become a yearly tradition coordinated by the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. This year's activities included a parade, wagon rides, keg races, live music, prize giveaways, motorcycle stunt shows, and a visit by Miss California and members of the Anaheim Ducks Power Players. Families and Soldiers attended the fun-filled event held at Fort Irwin's "Shockwave."
At Shockwave, during Saturday afternoon, Aidan Fairchild, 4, had a great time jumping on a trampoline while attached to bungee cords. He said it was the first time he "bungee jumped."
"I liked jumping really high," said Aidan. "I wasn't scared. I like to go on rides."
Aidan's mother, Melissa Fairchild, a military spouse here, last attended Oktoberfest five years ago during her husband's previous assignment here. She said it was a lot of fun then, and cited that as a reason for attending this year's celebration in addition to the food, music and beverages. She also said it is essential for posts to host family events, so that Families can spend time with their Soldiers.
"Soldiers are working all the time," Mrs. Fairchild said. "When they're off, it's important to bring Families together to give them something to do."
One senior noncommissioned officer brought his wife and three daughters to the event to support the community and Oktoberfest, and to enjoy the festivities. The operations sergeant major for 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Sgt. Maj. Robert Bell, also mentioned the significance of events for Families on Fort Irwin.
"It's not just about serving your country, but also serving Families as well," Sgt. Maj. Bell said. "It's all about the Family, here at Fort Irwin. It's really important that the community puts these events on, so the Soldiers and their families can actually enjoy them."