Community Celebrates Barksdale with event

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Celebrate Barksdale brought together airmen, their families and the community last week. 

Military members and their families were treated to an afternoon of free food, fun and fellowship at the 22nd Annual Celebrate Barksdale event Oct. 11 at the Weapons Loading Training Facility. Normally held outside, rainy weather pushed the event indoors this year.

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Col. Sara Ann Custer, 2nd Mission Support Group Commander, said she has never seen a community embrace a base like Bossier does with Barksdale.

“This event is absolutely amazing. We are so excited to be a part of this with our community partners. In my 24 years of military service, I have never seen a community that embraces a base and takes care of their airmen,” said Col. Custer.

The main event, a base-wide picnic, took place at the Weapons Loading Training Facility where food and drinks were served by Military Affairs Council members. There were many booths set up including a children’s play area, a face painting booth, balloon animals were made by a clown for children and music provided by a DJ.

The event, sponsored by the Shreveport-Bossier Military Affairs Council (MAC), serves as a way to thank military members and their families for their service and sacrifice to the nation, said Kathi Smith, executive director of the MAC.

“Any opportunity that we have to come out and celebrate with Barksdale Air Force Base is always a great day. We love having the families out here and just being able to give them a little bit of time to come out and relax and have a good time,” said Smith.

The day kicked off with a 5K fun run at the base Friday morning. After working up an appetite at the run, approximately 2,000 Team Barksdale members and their families headed to the Celebrate Barksdale Picnic. 

Kris Darwin, COO for Coldwell Banker Gosslee, said volunteering her time to serve food during the Celebrate Barksdale event is just another way she and her staff can show their support for the military and the sacrifices they make.

“The military is very near and dear to our hearts and to the community. We wanted to get even more involved and do something more than just what we do for a living. We are volunteering our time to serve food and be more involved,” said Darwin.

Approximately 5,000 hamburger patties and 3,000 hotdogs were cooked and served at the picnic.