By Mr. Jack Wiers (IMCOM)April 30, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (April 25, 2014) -- A 20th anniversary Family Fun Fest entertained an estimated 3,000 Soldiers and family members, Saturday, here, at Weyand Field, with entertainment, petting zoos, horse and carriage and pony rides, bouncers, games and, of course, plenty of food.
Earth Day shared the event spotlight with environmental demonstrations and displays, as well as by providing the power for the event through the use of three solar trailers.
While the Easter bunny posed for family photos and thousands roamed the festival site, three Army solar micro-grid portable trailer units efficiently provided 90 percent of the power for the festival.
"We could have easily powered the entire festival from the three solar units," said Jim Muldoon, science advisor, Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army-Pacific, who was monitoring the use of the micro-grids. "But it would have caused more power lines to cross the festival field."
The deployable mobile units that discreetly rimmed the field were made operational in minutes and are designed to reduce Soldier fuel requirements in the field.
"This trailer and Earth Day are opportunities to showcase some of the things we are doing," said Muldoon, who works out of Fort Shafter. "But today we are here reducing the costs of doing this event."
Meanwhile, families went about the business of enjoying the picture perfect Saturday.
Edwin Pierce III, just 23-months old, was testing the friendliness of a young goat in the petting zoo area, while other youngsters took pony rides.
"He's making a new friend. I'll tell you that," smiled Sgt. Edwin Pierce Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, as he gently coached his young namesake, who displayed a healthy, but cautious curiosity with the furry, horned creature.
The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation event evolved modestly 20 years ago from a Child and Youth Support Services penny carnival, according to FMWR Community Recreation Division's Special Events Chief Kathy Giannetti.
"We could see the possibilities to make it something much bigger," said Giannetti, who is scheduled to retire this summer after 30 years of service.
Giannetti has overseen continual expansion of the annual Easter weekend festival, which includes entertainment, children's fun runs, a travel fair component and now Earth Day activities and displays.
Giannetti, who has been the guiding force behind staging and supervising FMWR special events, including the Fourth of July Spectacular and Fun Fest through the years, leaves behind a legacy of thriving family events.
"It's been gratifying to watch events like Fun Fest grow and to be able to nurture its progress," Giannetti said, "but now it's time to step back and enjoy being a grandmother."