HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Hanscom community officially welcomed the holiday season during a parade and annual tree lighting ceremony here Dec. 3.
The evening was grand marshalled by six Airmen from the Hanscom Dorm Council, who planned every detail of the community event.
“Everything about the event was better than we imagined it would be,” said Airman 1st Class Evelyn Wilkes, Dorm Council president.
The council had just over a month to plan an event for the entire community, while keeping COVID safety measures in mind. They decided on a parade of holiday characters, who would make their way through base before the tree lighting streamed live over social media.
Every element of the event, including costumes, decorations and pre-packaged treats, was created by the Dorm Council.
“I’d never really sewn or made costumes before, but we all had a job to do,” said Airman 1st Class Emangelyn Pascua, dorm council member, who hand-made four holiday character costumes for the parade.
Pascua said the council pulled inspiration from films and craft stores to create character costumes everyone could relate to, regardless of holiday affiliation.
The Airmen said their hard work paid off during the event when they saw the number of residents outside for the parade, and that they were happy to play a part in making the holidays feel magical.
“Seeing all the children outside and how happy they were was worth all the effort we put into it,” said Wilkes. “Now I understand why Santa Claus does what he does every year.”
Senior leaders lauded the event as a success and commended the Airmen for their efforts.
“It was so impressive to see a group of junior-enlisted Airmen work together like this and put on such a great event,” said Master Sgt. Ronald Young, a Dorm Council mentor for the event. “The leadership they exhibited at such an early time in their career is really encouraging, and I know the future of our force and community is good hands.”