Military families invited to Salute Picnic Aug. 2

Military families invited to Salute Picnic Aug. 2

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee, or TOUMAC, invites all active duty, Guard and Reserve military and family members to join them for the annual Military Salute Picnic Aug. 2 at Centennial Park.

Picnic organizers said no speeches are planned – just fun, food and entertainment.

“We are thrilled to feature three well-known and respected local restaurant favorites at this year’s picnic,” said Barbara Riddle, chair for the Salute Picnic. “Roosters, Holy Smoke BBQ & Grill and MacCools Public House will provide the high-end picnic fare.”

The free Salute Picnic runs from 4-8 p.m. with food service available from 4-7 p.m. Registration is not required. However, additional information is available through the unit first sergeants.

This will be the nineteenth year TOUMAC has sponsored the Salute Picnic. The first event, held Dec. 7, 2001, attracted about 350 people. This year, more than 3,500 are expected to attend.

"This event originally started as a welcome home celebration for military deployed following 9/11," said Bob Ekstrom, vice chair of the Salute Picnic. "As the ops tempo increased and deployments continued throughout the years, it evolved into an annual picnic held in the summer.

"We are excited about the continual growth of the event," he added, "and the fact that we continue to serve 10 times the number of those attending the first event."

This year’s Salute Picnic will include live entertainment featuring the band Mid-Life Crisis, as well as activities for all ages including eight wet and dry inflatables, a rock wall, access to the Splash Pad and new all-abilities playgrounds adjacent to Centennial Park, face painting, princesses, pony carousel, exotic petting zoo, and kid-friendly foods. There will other be displays a well, including a 75th Security Forces Squadron’s military working dog flight demonstration.

Guests can also participate in a 96-foot Airman Warrior Challenge timed course with a gunny sack race to the finish line, and a mechanical bull challenge taking place between from 4-5:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. After 5:30 p.m., the mechanical bull and 96-foot course will be made available to the kids for the remainder of the picnic.

"Everything is free," Ekstrom said. "Come in picnic attire and plan to eat, drink, and basically have some fun."

Members of the TOUMAC members and community leaders will be in attendance to meet and greet, serve food and beverages, bus tables, and handle other duties.

"This annual picnic is a highly anticipated event for our committee and sponsors as it provides the opportunity to roll out a fun event for our Airmen and their families,” Riddle said. "Volunteering for this event is an annual highlight as it affords our community the ability to provide a small service to our many Airmen and their families who serve this country”.

The TOUMAC is a joint committee between the Davis Chamber of Commerce and the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce. They sponsor other events for Hill’s military and civilian employees, including military appreciation nights at an Ogden Raptors baseball game and at Weber State University football games.

The committee also sponsors a social to welcome newly assigned military into the community and supports base recognition programs and quality of life programs for the military and their families.

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