Tree lighting, play kick off holiday season
Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, and Reese Fletcher, overall Christmas tree ornament design winner, light the Fort Rucker Christmas tree at Howze Field last year.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 24, 2011) -- Fort Rucker officials invite Soldiers, Family members and community members to attend the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony Dec. 1, and the Best Christmas Pageant Ever Dec. 9 and 10.

The ceremony for the tree lighting will be held at Howze Field and begins at 5 p.m. with Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, scheduled to speak.

The ceremony will include music from the 98th Army "Silver Wings" Band from 4:45-5 p.m. followed by the Post Chapel Choir, and the Child Development Center children and Girl Scout Troops singing a medley of Christmas carols beginning at 5 p.m., according to Janice Erdlitz, marketing director for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Crutchfield will also announce the winners of the DFMWR ornament contest, which will continue to take contestants until Friday, according to Kimberly Abeln, annual events coordinator for DFMWR.

"The ornaments will be judged based on overall aesthetics, creative use of materials, quality of craftsmanship and originality of design," said Abeln.

The contest is open to children of ages 3 to 11 and winners will be chosen in four categories: 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and overall winner. All winners will receive a prize and a trophy and the overall winner will help light the tree, added Abeln.

The ornaments will be collected at youth services, Bldg. 2806, the CDC, Bldg 8938, and Central Registration, Bldg. 5700, she said, adding that all entries must have the child's name and age, along with the guardian's name and contact information.

The event will close with a group sing along and a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be taking complimentary photos at The Landing, said Abeln.

The event is free and open to the public, and visitors may choose to purchase a buffet-style dinner following the ceremony from 6-7:30 p.m. at The Landing. Prices for the dinner are: $8 for adults 13 and over, $5 for children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under, and $20 for a Family of four: two adults and two children, said Abeln.

"Santa has told me that his elves have been very busy this year, so those good girls and boys who get their photo taken with him at The Landing will receive something special," she said.

Another holiday event for people to attend is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever show that will be held at the Spritual Life Center, Bldg. 8937. It is a theatrical production put on by the all-volunteer Above the Best Theater Company. It is free to the public with cookies and milk for the children. There will be one show Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., and two shows Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Seating is limited to 150 people per show, so people should arrive early, said Erdlitz.

"The production will consist of a hilarious Christmas tale in which a couple struggles to put on a church Christmas pageant and is faced with casting the Herdman kids, the most inventively awful kids in history," she said.

For additional information on the tree lighting ceremony, call 255-1749 or visit For more information on the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, call 255-9810.

Page last updated Wed November 23rd, 2011 at 10:15