North Santa Rosa

Military Appreciation Picnic

Santa Rosa community hosts military appreciation picnic

Santa Rosa County will roll out the red carpet for their area military, when the county hosts their annual Military Appreciation Picnic at Naval Air Station Whiting Field Friday, May 18.  The shindig will feature live music, free food, children’s games, vendor tents, and a ton of door prizes.

The event is hosted on the base each year to coincide with Military Appreciation Month, and is the highlight of the area’s recognition of military personnel.  Approximately two thousand service men and women, their families, retirees, and civilian employees at Naval Air Station Whiting Field attended last year’s event, and this year, special forces service personnel from the southern end of the county are expected to join in the celebration.

Kristal Kelly served as the chairperson for the event and helped to create the grandest scale yet for the picnic. “We really wanted to take care of our military service members,” she said.  “The committee planned out a fantastic event, and I can’t wait for the 18th.  We truly care about our military personnel and their families here, and this is the best chance we get to show them how much.”

Historically, around 100 volunteers help set up, cook, serve the food, watch over the games, and clean up so that the military team can enjoy themselves.  Last year was the first time the event was held in the late afternoon, and this year will again have a 3 p.m. start time to help encourage the attendance of the family members.

It was also the first time the picnic featured live music.  Decadent Nation performed during last year’s festivities.  This year’s event will feature the local band: Superhero. According to their online biography, “Superhero is a costumed 80’s tribute act featuring your favorite characters from D.C. Comics alongside the biggest pop and rock hits of the 80s, with a modern day twist.”

The picnic will be a family friendly activity with bouncy houses, slides, a Velcro wall, an inflatable obstacle course, and more for the kids.  Additionally, Lowes will provide small woodworking projects for children, there will be free snow cones available, and more.

In all, more than 80 organizations contributed door prizes, food, money and volunteers to make the event a success.  Every person with a military ID who attends will have a chance at a door prize, but the grand prizes, donated by area casinos and hotels, will be reserved for active duty winners.

“We can’t thank the businesses enough.  The support we received from throughout the community was amazing.  We couldn’t do this event right without our sponsors and they were incredibly generous,” Kelley stated.


Posted by on May 15 2012. Filed under Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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