By Walt Johnson | Mountaineer staff
The event featured vendors, food and family-fun which unofficially kicked off the beginning of the fall recreation season. DFMWR officials said the event was designed to give Families a taste of fall with a unique experience.
Last year, overflow crowds made it one of the most well received activities of the year. This year was no exception as thousands of Soldiers and Family members arrived at Iron Horse Park.
One of the best things about the event is it allowed many of the organizations who serve the post community daily, such as the Exchange, Soldiers and Family members showcasing their small businesses, civilian vendors and food trucks. Last year it proved to be a great way to kick off the fall season so remembering what was good last year and adding new activities made the day exciting and fun.
Art in the Park allowed Soldiers and Families to show their skills such as drawing, balloon designs and other forms of arts and crafts. This allowed them to display their talents and let the community see what is available within their own neighborhoods.
Melissa Greco, a Family member and artist, said she has always had a love for portrait drawing. Greco doesn’t know when she decided to do this as a profession, but she said she enjoys painting for people. She especially likes the drawing she recently completed for a family who tragically lost multiple members at different times over the past year. She took three separate photos of the customers’ father, mother and brother and turned them into one drawing.
Paige Lane, a Soldier, was one of the volunteer zombies who took part in the Zombie Dash portion of the event. Lane and a few of her friends put on zombie makeup and looked the scary part all to bring more fun and excitement to the event.
“We came out and volunteered to be zombies because we believe in the Army values of selfless service. We had no problem being a zombie today because we are here helping to make this fun and serving the community. We (her friends and herself) do one of the events each time there is one. Last month we did the Color Run and next month we will do the Turkey Trot. The best part of these events is seeing people out enjoying themselves and all the great food that is here,” Lane said.
Stephanie Burns has volunteered at many DFMWR functions and other events on post. This one will be memorable for her because it is the last one she will take part in as she and her husband are leaving for a new assignment in the next few weeks. Burns said the day was bittersweet for her as she will miss the activities at the Mountain Post.
“I’m going to miss this type of event a lot because where we are going, we aren’t going to have this military community like we have here so it’s going to be a little bit different,” Burns said.
Chance Currell, his wife Karyssa and their son Declan came out with a coworker to enjoy the event and he may have summed up why events like Art in the Park are so popular with the post community.
“We wanted to bring our son, and we are with our Family friends enjoying this event. Events like this let you see the community at its happiest point, and you see people who just want to come out, relax and have a good time, and that is what these events are here to provide,” Chance Currell said.