By Jenny Collins; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiApril 5, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (April 5, 2013) -- The smell of fried carnival food lingered into the crisp spring air.
Wrinkled piles of plastics inflated into towering structures of air-filled bounciness.
Cheers from the activity booths echoed throughout the field as the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation kicked off the 18th annual FunFest and Earth Day celebration, March 30, at Weyand Field.
"This is a great Easter spring tradition that we program for Soldiers and families," said Aubrey Kiemnec, FMWR event programmer. "It's one of our more popular events, especially for kids."
The morning started with an Enchanted Character Breakfast where Disney princesses, superheroes and other famous costumed characters entertained military families.
"We came for the breakfast, so we can fill these kids up with energy before they go play," said mom April Smith. "There are just so many activities to do."
Activities included pictures with the Easter bunny, kiddie and pony rides, games and a petting zoo.
A major component of Funfest is FMWR's Leisure Travel Services Office Travel Fair. Local vendors set up booths to provide information on discounted travel offers, attractions and other recreational opportunities in Hawaii and on the mainland.
"Our patrons can get a chance to meet the vendors in person and perhaps hear about the great offers that they didn't know were available to them," said Abigail Stehulak, LTS travel clerk. "Our grand prize, a Kilauea Military Camp trip for two, is also a big draw."
For the past two years, the event has included an Earth Day element that promotes green living and showcases sustainability initiatives taking place inside and outside the gate.
"We're trying to make our FMWR events more environmentally friendly and also bring awareness to our sustainability and recycling programs here on post," said Kiemnec.
As the event winded down, the vendors packed up, the crowd retired to their homes and the FMWR staff hopped away with the Easter bunny to plan Fun Fest 2014.