MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Everyone came together for a day of fun at the Marine Corps Exchange's Summer Fun Picnic Festival here Aug. 13.
For the entire day the MCX was more of a small carnival with free food, hors d'oeuvres, dart contests, a puppet show, face painting, a fashion show and PlayStation 2 contests for teenagers.
The festival was held in conjunction with MCX special savings and back-to-school sales.
"The Summer Fun Festival was a part of the spouse social events for the families of deployed Marines and Sailors," said Ron Arden, merchandise manager. "We decided to do a summer picnic festival since it's August. We wanted to make it a sociable event for the families and a place for children to play games."
Earlier in the day several computer software companies demonstrated to patrons how to legally 'burn' their own music from their personal computers. They also gave demonstrations on how to download music using several different types of software.
The Teen Club made its first appearance at the festival with a pizza and PS2 party in the corner of the exchange. Teenagers battled it out for the highest video game scores, hoping to win a gift bag.
"We didn't want the teens to feel left out of the festival," said Arden.
Anyone who entered the drawings had a chance to win several prizes, such as television sets, a complete children's bedroom set, DVD players, small electronics and some additional prizes.
After getting their faces painted, children enjoyed a puppet show sponsored by the Lifelong Learning Library. Leone Cozart, homemaker, and her three children snacked on hot dogs while watching the upbeat musical puppet show.
"It was a very good show; it was impressive and entertaining," said Cozart.
"We wanted to do this to get the kids' attention and basically have fun," said Laurinda Stewart, education clerk, Education Center. "Puppets are magical, and they definitely get the kids' attention."
Arden said he was pleased with the outcome of the festival.
"We had a phenomenal morning, then the thunderstorms pulled around and things started to slow down," said Arden. "However, when the evening came, it was very busy."
Arden added, "This is all to let the spouses know we care about them. We're here to say thanks to the spouses and service members for all their support. We all hope the spouses return home safely, and to those leaving, we wish them good luck and good health."