Air Commandos kicked off the holidays with a parade and tree lighting on Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Despite the cold weather, the festivities went on as scheduled with more than 250 attendants from Cannon and the surrounds communities. Col. Buck Elton, 27 SOW commander, officiated the lighting of the tree and invited those attending back to The Landing Zone for post festivities.
Cannon kids wave to Santa Claus during the holiday parade at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Dec. 1, 2011. More than 250 people from Cannon and the surrounding communities enjoyed the parade despite temperatures of 30 degrees and strong winds . (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman1st Class Xavier Lockley)
U.S Air Force Col. Buck Elton, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, announces the tree lighting as Cannon kids await to lift the lever that will light the tree at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Dec.1, 2011. The tree lighting occurs every year during the month of December. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman1st Class Xavier Lockley)
by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
12/2/2011 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Air Commandos kicked off the holiday season at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., with a parade and tree lighting ceremony at The Landing Zone club on Dec. 1.
The parade route wound its way through Joe Cannon Estates base housing, before finally arriving at the club.
Cold weather did not damper festivities, as more than 250 people from Cannon and the surrounding communities braved winds and 30 degree temperatures to be part of the celebration.
"I am so glad that the event didn't get canceled," said Master Sgt. Aiko Riffle, 27th Special Operations Wing Judge Advocate law office superintendent. "This is such a special event; it's a great tradition we have to kick off the holiday season, and it really helps bring our community together."
Children were especially excited to see that Santa Claus took time out of his busy holiday schedule to make an appearance at the tree lighting. He and Mrs. Claus rode in on one of Cannon's fire engines during the parade.
"Events like this really help promote morale and strong community bonds," said Tech. Sgt. Adriana Gonzales, 27th Special Operations Mission Support Group NCO in charge of executive services. "We might be a small base, but coming together like this really shows how much of a family we are at Cannon."
Before inviting guests back into the club for cocoa and pictures with Santa, Col. Buck Elton, 27 SOW commander, closed the ceremony by thanking attendants for coming and asking several children to officially light the tree.