N.O.E.L. event lights up the night sky
December 15, 2011
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Despite a winter chill more than 3,000 community members turned out for the Night of Extraordinary Lights event Friday and Saturday night at the Mountain View Golf Course, here.
Fort Huachuca's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation put on the N.O.E.L. event for the second year in a row. It was free and open to the public, with both military and civilians attending.
Capt. Abby Tassa, Company A, 304th Military Intelligence Bn, said the event was great, while she busily constructed holiday crafts with her nine-year-old daughter Leah. "I appreciate the MWR for sponsoring this event because it really boosts the town's morale," she added.
A crafts area was just one of the many activities offered to attendees. Hay rides to view light displays, an ice skating rink with skates provided, holiday movies, caroling, photos with Santa, marshmallow roasting, letters to the North Pole and more were provided for guests, free of charge to enjoy with family and friends.
"We love it because we have a big family and it is a free event so it's nice to take all of the kids at no cost," said military spouse Becky Dailey, while watching her daughter give it a go at the artificial ice-skating.
The ice skating rink was especially popular; over 700 children and adults attempted the skating rink; while even more spectators watched their fellow attendees try their luck on skates.
Attendees were able to vote for their favorite light display after viewing them on the hay ride. The winner, Company B, 40th Expeditionary Signal Bn, won $100 in unit funds.
"It is a pretty awesome event. I think it is great that it brings all these people together," said attendee Dina Barnhart.
Craft vendors selling everything from clothing and jewelry to duct tape wallets were set up in a separate building for holiday shopping. Hot chocolate and food was available for purchase.
According to the FMWR website, N.O.E.L. is, "unique and innovative in the fact that it is the only holiday celebration of its kind being held within a 70-mile radius."