CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (Oct. 20, 2021) – The Camp Humphreys community gathered on Balboni Field to share seasonal fall festivities at the Humphreys Festival Oct.16.
“The community at Camp Humphreys has done a phenomenal job doing their part and supporting the installation’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID. That’s come with a lot of sacrifice,” said Col. Seth C. Graves, the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys commander. “We’re in a place now, due to their efforts and vaccination rates, where we felt it was important to hold a large scale event where families could come out and enjoy a day filled with activities.”
In spite of cold weather, more than 5,000 community members attended throughout the day to partake in the food, fun, and live entertainment of the annual festival to celebrate the autumn season.
“As a new family to Camp Humphreys, we were really impressed with the fall festival,” said Kara Patton, a U.S. Forces Korea family member. “There were a lot of vendors, activities, and artists.”
According to Camp Humphreys’ Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office, more than 20 units, home-based businesses, private organizations, and artisans hosted booths to show off their work or raise funds for their organizations.
“The place was packed, so we didn’t get a chance to try any of the food, but the girls enjoyed the climbing wall and the music,” added Patton. “Everything was spread out nicely, and even though the weather was cold, we had fun.”
On the main stage, the crowd enjoyed performances by several groups from the Camp Humphreys Child and Youth Services School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills program.
Brynnley Brownell, 10, a 2nd Infantry Division family member, performed Haidong Gumdo, a Korean sword martial art, with her class.
“I was a little bit nervous, but also a little bit excited. I really thought I was going to mess up,” she said.
In addition to student presentations with foam and wooden swords, experienced martial artists performed stunts that demonstrated impressive skill with very sharp swords. Students from Hapkido at Humphreys also showed off their skills, then experts performed an exciting fight demonstration with high flying somersaults and flips. Other entertainment included ballet performances, Zumba and group fitness demonstrations, a juggler, a bubble show, and a K-pop performance.
Balboni Field was buzzing with activity throughout the afternoon. Children joined in giant connect four and checkers games, created fall crafts, and bounced on inflatables. Older kids tried out the mechanical surf board or took a spin in a zorb ball.
“I want to try those balls,” said Brynnley. “It looks like a big bubble but you go inside of it, and you can just roll around in it. It looks fun.”
Families took a break from the activities to take photos on the tractors or listen to story time. Participants also enjoyed the tastes of fall courtesy of Solder and Family Readiness Groups and other private organizations. The hot chocolate and funnel cakes were crowd-pleasing favorites.
“The various foods and drinks offered were delicious. My favorite was some type of sweet glazed pork on a stick,” said Julie Brownell, a 2nd Infantry Division family member. “Despite the chilly temperatures and constant breeze, the overall atmosphere of the festival was a lot of fun.”
Inside the Oktoberfest tent, patrons enjoyed traditional German food and beverages, such as brats and schnitzel. Local bands performed popular favorites on the fest stage, and a disc jockey kept the fun going with the chicken dance.
“The fall fest had a little bit of everything. We wanted to give the community a little taste of home, and I think we were able to accomplish that,” said Graves.
The Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation department organized Humphreys Festival to bring live entertainment, activities, and a variety of cuisine and beverages to the community.
“We’re fortunate to have a phenomenal FMWR team that is committed to providing community events such as the fall festival for our service members, civilian employees, and their families,” Graves added.
At the end of the evening, the Eighth Army Band took the stage to perform before a dazzling fireworks show capped off the night.