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MWR Battle Creek hosts first family day since the pandemic

Employees and their families enjoyed a variety of activities in the crisp fall air at the inaugural Harvest Fest Oct. 20.

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Morale, Family and Recreation Battle Creek hosted the family-friendly event at Station 66 in Battle Creek, Michigan. The free festival was open to all employees of Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, and their families, and over 200 people registered for the autumn-themed gathering.  

“I’m happy we were able to have a family day in 2021, it’s been a while,” said Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Director Mike Cannon. “I am appreciative that we found an outdoor space that could accommodate us and keep us safe and socially distant from one another.” 

Because of the pandemic, MWR Battle Creek was unable to host its traditional summer family day – an event that would attract over 400 attendees. This year it was given the green light to organize an outdoor, socially distant festival.

“Leadership still wanted us to feature some kind of event, so we thought something outdoors would be a safe option during COVID,” said Steven Gales, the MWR Battle Creek business manager. “That’s why we decided to plan a fall fest; we’ve always wanted to plan one because who doesn’t love fall festivities?”

Station 66 offered guests a little bit of everything. There was enough space to host games, like sack races, ring toss and bean bag games – all while surrounded by the various pumpkin styles and sizes at the pre-picked pumpkin patch.

For a small cost, employees and their family members could paint or carve pumpkins, jump on a hayride or indulge in delicious food options like cider, donuts or their famous ice cream.

The ice cream was one of the deciding factors for fest volunteer Andrew Van Koevering, a DLA Disposition Services employee. “I registered to go, just to participate in one of our MWR events and to have some of Station 66’s lauded ice cream,” he said. “[I] enjoyed spending time with some coworkers outside of work walls and also passing out candy to the dressed-up kids that attended.”

Adults, children and vehicles donned festive Halloween costumes for trunk-or-treating and a costume contest. Athletes, a bubble-gum machine, cheerleaders, animals, super-heroes and pint-sized first responders are just a few of the imaginative costumes that made an appearance.

“I’m really excited about the costume contest because I enjoy seeing the creativity that people come up with,” Gales said. “Growing up, in my community, we always had a costume contest and parade [for Halloween] and it was always fun to see and now [as an adult] I still look forward to it.”

To view more photos, visit MWR Battle Creek’s Facebook page.

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