Staff and volunteers of Fort Riley Child and Youth Services hosted a winter holiday event for the community at CYS Parent Central Saturday, Dec. 10. More than 900 parents and children were greeted at the door after walking through a flurry of snow bubbles and handed a ticket to board the Polar Express.
Attendees encountered multiple activities inside to include snowball fights, selfie stations, cookie decorating, ornament making, cake walking, Santa visits and Grinch encounters. Individual activities were in rooms set up like train cars with halls decorated to carry the train theme throughout the building.
Sgt. Tucker Johnson attended with his wife and two children. Upon arrival he stated, “I saw the snow going and was like it’s Christmastime already. We are super excited about Polar Express! They’ve got the halls decorated super nicely.”
Destinee Shumate, who was also there with her family, said “It’s very family oriented. We were excited to get out of the house with the kids.”
After enjoying the activities, families could settle into the gym and watch The Polar Express movie on a large screen while enjoying hot cocoa, popcorn and other refreshments.
“Polar Express is a new event and a small teaser of festivals and events that will lead up to April, which is Month of the Military Child” CYS Outreach Services Director Christian Bishop said. “This is exciting. It’s the holiday season and the fantasy of believing and seeing the children’s reactions to it all was a great way to end the Big Red One Year of Family campaign.”