December 21, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Zipped in by sleigh, Aberdeen Proving Ground Garrison Commander Col. Orlando Ortiz and APG Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Rhoades kicked off the
installation's annual Festival of Trees and Holiday Celebration Dec. 8 at the post recreation center.
The event drew hundreds of Soldiers, civilians, and Family members who mingled to Christmas music throughout the facility, enjoying food and drinks and participating in several craft activities.
The evening, which included a holiday run/walk and concluded with the ceremonial lighting of the holiday tree, also included gingerbread house and tree decorating competitions.
Ortiz called the celebration a "special night for APG."
"The holiday season really affords us the time to come together as friends to celebrate what we have," he said.
Ortiz also encouraged everyone to remember deployed service members serving in harm's way and
led a moment of silence in their honor.
Other events throughout the night included picture taking with Santa, caroling by Izolda's Carolers and a reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by Rhoades.
Entertainment was provided by caroling students from the APG Child Development Center, dancers from the Baltimore and Maryland schools of ballet and musicians from the Maryland Conservatory of Music.