It sure felt like winter was in the air as families arrived to the Jax Frost event at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville’s Patriot’s Grove held Dec. 7 for the annual holiday celebration.

Activities included winter-themed arts and crafts such as the snowman maracas and snowflake necklaces, a giant synthetic ice-skating rink, a teacup ride, complimentary hot cocoa and cookies, photos with Santa, face painting, and balloon artists. 

Having just returned from Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Navy Band Southeast Pride enjoyed the chilly weather as they kept the crowd entertained with a unique rock-themed performance of pop culture music and the seasonal holiday favorites.

NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Connor addressed the crowd of nearly 1,200 patrons expressing his gratitude for Community Recreation Director Kristin Riddle and Community Recreation Assistant Brittany Brown for their efforts in hosting such an exciting event. Connor then led the countdown to the lighting of the tree.

Once the sun set, the holiday movie “Elf” was shown on the giant inflatable screen. 

“It is really rewarding to work on an event for nearly two months and to see it draw such a large, enthusiastic crowd,” said Riddle, event coordinator. “We tried to focus on more entertaining elements this year by adding a stilt walking man who also juggled, a juggler with glow in the dark pins and a hula hooper with a glow in the dark hoop.”

On-site sponsors included VyStar Credit Union, AT&T, USAA, AARP and Hellofresh.

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