By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker will soon be officially ringing in the holiday season with events that will have any Grinch feeling the holiday spirit this winter.
The events will kick off with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony Dec. 1 at Howze Field from 5-6 p.m., followed by the annual spaghetti dinner at The Landing from 6-7:30 p.m., and then culminate with the Commanding General's Holiday Concert at the post theater at 7:30 p.m.
"These (events) allow people to come out for a bit of music and enjoy (themselves), and it's also about the families that we support and the Soldiers that we're supporting by supporting those families," said Sgt. 1st Class James Sproul, Maneuver Center of Excellence Band, Fort Rucker Detachment NCO in charge. "These (events) are a great reminder that the military has service members fighting all around the world -- that's why we do what we do."
To start, people can enjoy the lighting of the post Christmas tree with familiar holiday music, hot chocolate and a special visitor from the North Pole. People are also invited to take photos with the big man in red at The Landing following the tree lighting, where there will be special treats for children.
During the ceremony, winners of the DFMWR Ornament Contest will be announced from three categories: 3-5 year olds, 6-8 year olds and 9-11 year olds. Winners from the contest will get the chance to help like the post tree.
Following the lighting of the tree, The Landing will host its annual spaghetti dinner that families can enjoy, which includes their choice of pasta and sauce, garlic bread, assorted cookies, and tea and coffee.
Prices for the dinner are $10 for adults ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for children younger than 2. There is also a family option, which covers two adults and two children under 12 for $25. After dinner, people are invited to enjoy complimentary photos with Santa Claus.
For more information on the dinner, call 255-0769.
To cap off the night, people can enjoy one of Fort Rucker's most treasured traditions -- the Commanding General's Holiday Concert.
The Maneuver Center of Excellence Band Fort Rucker Detachment will provide a night of traditional holiday favorites, as well as some Christmas rock music, according to Sproul.
"Our brass ensemble will be performing these pieces throughout the night, which include 12 members of the band, as well as guest performances," he said, adding that the holiday concert will be the band's only performance this season.
One of the special guest performers is Deejay Eddie Phillips, morning deejay for FM 101.1, who will be performing a reading of "T'was the Night Before Christmas."
The event is open to the public and Santa will make another appearance during the performance.
Those who do not possess Department of Defense identification cards are reminded that they must obtain a gate access pass to enter the installation. Visitors may obtain passes from the visitor control centers at the Daleville and Ozark gates. The Daleville VCC is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Sundays. The Ozark VCC is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Those with a valid Common Access Card, retiree ID or military dependent ID do not need a visitor access badge. Only active duty and retired U.S. service members and their dependents, and DA civilians with a valid, DOD-issued ID card may escort visitors, according to Fort Rucker's website.