Festival shares holiday cheer

Jackson Rosenfeldt shares his Christmas wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The free Santa experience saved families trips into town to meet Santa. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Jackson Rosenfeldt shares his Christmas wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The free Santa experience saved families trips into town to meet Santa. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Ariana and Liana Zayas shoot hoops during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The basketball game was one of several interactive booths for families to find information and play games. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Ariana and Liana Zayas shoot hoops during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The basketball game was one of several interactive booths for families to find information and play games. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

4th Space Operations Squadron members Staff Sgt. Josh Alvarez and Tech. Sgt. David Bonilla host a prize booth during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Alvarez and Bonilla were among 53 volunteers who made the event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

4th Space Operations Squadron members Staff Sgt. Josh Alvarez and Tech. Sgt. David Bonilla host a prize booth during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Alvarez and Bonilla were among 53 volunteers who made the event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Reena Garma hands Toby Werner a gift bag during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Children filled their bags with candy and small, plush holiday toys. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Reena Garma hands Toby Werner a gift bag during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Children filled their bags with candy and small, plush holiday toys. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Families watch Reindeer during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Attendees could also visit the Cheyenne Mountain Mobile ZOOMobile to meet animals at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Families watch Reindeer during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Attendees could also visit the Cheyenne Mountain Mobile ZOOMobile to meet animals at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Mackenzie and Kayden Riccardelli visit Santa and Mrs. Claus during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Families waited in line to see Santa during the free 50th Force Support Squadron event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Mackenzie and Kayden Riccardelli visit Santa and Mrs. Claus during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Families waited in line to see Santa during the free 50th Force Support Squadron event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Frosty and elves greet families and children during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Frosty and Rudolph were some of the special guests during the family festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Frosty and elves greet families and children during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Frosty and Rudolph were some of the special guests during the family festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

A face-painter transforms Aspen Fletcher into a tiger during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. After face painting, children could walk next door to enjoy free lunch or meet Santa. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

A face-painter transforms Aspen Fletcher into a tiger during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. After face painting, children could walk next door to enjoy free lunch or meet Santa. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Schriever families and personnel visit informational booths and game stations during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Approximately 1,850 attendees enjoyed the free holiday event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Schriever families and personnel visit informational booths and game stations during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Approximately 1,850 attendees enjoyed the free holiday event. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

Mason Taykowski enjoys a crafts booth during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. More than 53 volunteers set up and manned stations for the festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)
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Mason Taykowski enjoys a crafts booth during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. More than 53 volunteers set up and manned stations for the festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Darren Domingo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Waves of Schriever families and personnel found a winter wonderland waiting for them here Dec. 3 during the 2016 Candy Land Children’s Holiday Fest.

The 50th Force Support Squadron held the free event at the base fitness center, drawing crowds to play games, win prizes, eat lunch, see live reindeer, and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, a favorite among Schriever children.

“The kids look forward to it, it’s become a Schriever tradition. It’s a good way to tire the kids out so mom and dad can get some down time,” laughed Karen Draper, 50 FSS Sustainment Flight chief.

The event kicked-off in heroic fashion with Santa and Mrs. Claus’ entrance on a Schriever Fire Department fire truck, followed by Santa’s crew; Rudolph, Frosty and the elves.

Parents and their children stood in long lines to meet-and-greet with Santa. Mrs. Claus said she was just as excited to see them.

“The kids were really excited about seeing Santa Claus and (I). Just listening to children share what they want. It was a lot of fun,” said Mrs. Claus.

The Santa experience was vital to the event, as the service lessened parents’ financial burdens.

“It can cost $40 to get a picture with Santa, here you can do it for free. It makes it easy on the family,” said 2nd Lt. Andrew St. John-Grubb, 50 FSS Sustainment Flight assistant.

Base leadership greeted 1,850 attendees who entered the facility with gift bags and raffle cards, each with chances to win prizes given away at the event’s end.

Throughout the festival, children could jump in bounce houses, get their faces painted, visit the Cheyenne Mountain Mobile ZOOMobile, play games and meet at different booths to receive candy or earn small plush holiday toys.

53 volunteers manned the stations and 27 individuals volunteered for set-up making the event possible. St. John-Grubb had a message for those who supported the large-scale festival.

“A huge thank you. This event would not have been possible at all without all the volunteers that helped,” he said.

Team Schriever showed in force, as 310th Space Wing families also joined the festivities.

The final drawing at the event’s end gave big prizes such as bicycles, a tablet and coupons to local restaurants and fun parks, provided by 50 FSS sponsors. 50 FSS team members explained the festival’s goal of providing family-fun events to support Schriever and continue tradition was a success, but would not be possible without the support of their sponsors.