STUTTGART, Germany -- Temperatures were well-below freezing on Dec. 3, but that didn't keep families in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart from coming to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Winterfest event, held from 4-9 p.m. next to Husky Field on Patch Barracks.

Perhaps it was because several community youngsters took the stage to sing or dance, including the Patch Elementary School Chorus, PES German Immersion Class (with partner school SchAfAPnbuch Schule), Child, Youth and School Services Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills dance classes and several Boy Scout and Cub Scout packs. Or, it could have been because the children were begging to go on the "Buckin' Rudolph," carousel or toboggan ride.

To help community members stay warm, local organizations set up fest booths to sell bratwurst, hot chocolate, GlAfA1/4hwein, cookies and other goodies. Those who stayed until 6 p.m. were rewarded by a visit from Santa Claus himself, who arrived in traditional Winterfest style in a fire truck and participated in lighting the trees with help from U.S. Africa Command Commander Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward and Garrison Commander Col. Carl D. Bird.

Santa also took pictures with children at the Patch Multi-Crafts center.