Base lights Christmas Tree, shares songs, hot chocolate

  • Published
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Two singers with the Eisenhower Elementary School choir helped the wing commander throw the switch Monday evening that lit 600 lights on the base Christmas Tree.

Located near the Military Working Dogs kennel, the Scotch pine is also decorated with 25 large ornaments and 200 feet of garland, all zip-tied to the branches to resist Oklahoma wind between now and the New Year.

The tree-lighting ceremony began at 5 p.m. with the national anthem. The ceremony continued with the children’s choir singing “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “We wish you a merry Christmas.”

The choir was under the direction of Anna Gooddell, a music teacher at Eisenhower.

Col. Darrell Judy, the 71st Flying Training Wing commander, then selected two children from the choir to help him turn on the tree lights.

Members of the Civil Engineering Grounds Shop have decorated the Christmas Tree for the past 12 years. This year’s team included Troy McDonald, Pierce Jones, Matt Stambaugh, Ryan Willson, Andrew Wilson and Dustin Parks.

The Vance Chapel staff served 15 bags of cookies and 125 cups of hot chocolate to the crowd of more than 230 at the ceremony.

(Editor’s note – For video of the ceremony, visit the Vance Air Force Base Facebook page.)