By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 28, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 28, 2013) -- Day-to-day life on a military installation can become mundane, but leisure travel services is looking to stir things up and show people where they can escape the monotony, whether near or far.
The 25th annual Travel Extravaganza comes to Fort Rucker March 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Landing, promising to educate people on what the surrounding community has to offer, as well as neighboring states, according to Kristen Hartwell, leisure travel services program manager.
"The Travel Extravaganza is a travel show where vendors from all around will give participants new and updates information regarding their particular venue," she said. "There will be vendors from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and other areas that will come out and give people a view of what their venues have to offer."
Among the vendors will be tourism departments, chambers of commerce, vendors for hotels, vendors from various states and even vendors from the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation to highlight some things that people can take advantage of on the installation, said Hartwell.
"A lot of vendors will explain a lot of things, like what goes on during some of the dinner shows, or what specifically their venues have to offer and why people should take advantage of these opportunities," she said. "[The event] gives attendees a more in-depth view of what the different vendors have to offer rather than what they see at face value."
Almost 1,000 people attended last year's event, and the extravaganza is open to the public and admission is free, so Hartwell encourages people to come out and take advantage of the door prizes and giveaways that will be given out.
The casino-themed event hosts 54 different vendors and will feature door prizes and giveaways that range from weekend getaways and gift cards to amusement park entries and rounds of golf. The giveaways will also feature a grand prize -- tickets to Talladega Motor Speedway, said Hartwell.
"When people come to the Travel Extravaganza, they will fill out a ticket that will have their name and phone number on it," she said. "They don't have to be present to win a prize, but throughout the event if their name is called, they can come up and collect their prize."
Some of the vendors offer destinations that travel into international waters, so there will be people available at the event to answer questions about passport information and how to go about obtaining one, said Hartwell.
"It's a very fun event and the environment itself is fun, and its just very Family-friendly, too," she said. "It's just for people to see what there is to do in their time off, and people don't have to travel far if they don't want to, to have a good time.
"Soldiers are the hardest working people around and if we can do anything to help them and their Families, offer any type of discount we can, that's a benefit to them," she added. "Holding an event like this for our Soldiers shows that Fort Rucker is very unique and shows that DFMWR is here for our Soldiers."
Leisure travel services also provides discounted tickets to various amusement parks, theme parks and venues throughout the surrounding states year round for Soldiers and their Families, said Hartwell.
For more information, call 255-2997 or 255-9517.