Rain couldn’t dampen Fall Festival spirits


By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Ghost, ghouls, pumpkins, aliens, and teams of superheroes showed off their creativity and costumes at the Child and Youth Services Fall Festival Oct. 29 at Youth Services Sports Complex.

While rain threatened the evening’s events, hundreds wouldn’t let the spooky season pass without celebrating.

“It’s good not being stuck inside the house and being outside with the Family,” said Sgt. Daniel Ortiz, a supply sergeant assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment. “The kids are having a good night.”

Ortiz and his Family enjoyed watching his oldest, Danielis, get her face painted and collecting candy from the various booths at the festival.

For 5-year-old Amiah Soriano, her Family will enjoy a night of bowling after winning she won a Family pack of tickets to Century Bowling Center during a game of bowling pin ring toss.

The game was one of many provided by various departments throughout the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Additional games such as water bead target shooting hosted by Outdoor Recreation, bean bag balloon pop, basketball, and a pumpkin relay race.

“It went wonderful. The weather was on our side,” said Oana Pierce, CYS Outreach Director. “Participation from the community was amazing.”

Also in attendance were members of Fort Jackson’s Military Working Dog Detachment who ran drills with their K9 team to demonstrate their strength, agility and loyalty. A mounted patrol horse from the Richland County Sherriff’s Office also attended the evening to answer questions from attendees, take selfies with the horse and get a chance to pet the horse as well.

Food trucks from the Exchange offered hot beverages and snacks such as ice cream to attendees as laughter rang in the distance from two bounce houses.

As the evening began to wind down and children started to slow down a bit after all the evening’s excitement, the weather finally broke and a steady sprinkle began forcing the cancellation of a planned movie.

Despite the cancellation of the movie, most attendees started heading to their cars happy for the time they shared with other Families.

“I had fun,” said Hailey Perez, a 13 year-old dressed in an inflatable unicorn costume. “My dad bought this for me. Little kids have been stopping me all night to say, ‘Hi.’”

“It was a success,” Pierce said of the evening.

Perez said, “I would come back again,” if her and her Family are still located at Fort Jackson next year.

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