PHOTO CAPTION: Patrons walk through a haunted daycare area of Frite Nite and are frightened when a stuffed animal monster jumps out at them Oct. 19 at the Fort Rucker Riding Stables.
October 24, 2013
By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff Writer
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 24, 2013) -- Nothing foul was in the air during the Fort Rucker Riding Stable's Fall Festival despite the fact that Frite Nite was just around the stable's corners, but both events went off without a hitch, though a few pants were reportedly soiled.
More than 400 children and parents attended this year's Riding Stables Fall Festival, a new high, but it is nothing compared to the 1,500 people that attended Frite Nite Oct. 18-19.
"These are the biggest crowds we have had to date," said Aida L. Diaz-Carter, riding stables business manager. "The event gets bigger and bigger and bigger every year. This year we were surprised at the attendance because we were worried about the weather and the other events in town that our going on, as well. But it's amazing!"
The events received kudos from all sorts of characters and patrons, from young girls to teenagers in wheelchairs.
"My favorite part was when me and my dad got turned around (at Frite Nite) and sort of got lost and trapped in one of the houses," said Shelby Connoloy. "I came last year, too, and it was just as good. I like to come with my dad because he is fun."
With both events growing in popularity on post as well as in the Wiregrass, the events themselves have matured and changed to keep the events new and entertaining.
"I think the parents like the variety that we offer at Fall Festival with the festival food and horse rides and all the games. The Family and friendly fellowship is awesome at this event. It's nice to see them all having such a good time," said Diaz-Carter. "New this year was the Enterprise-Ozark Community College entertainers, and who knows what we will have next year because the patron and volunteer participation is amazing."
"Every scare was different this year, too," added the manager. "Every trailer that came in last night said they had an amazing time, and we had so many people wet their pants and . . . not finish the tour."
Freakish areas of Frite Nite left many patrons frantic to get away, but others found the opportunity to get some laughs at the expense of their friends and Families.
"The best part for me was when we were walking on the trail, and my daughter got turned around and thought the man in front of her was me," said Marty Connoloy, veteran and Enterprise resident. "Well when he turned around it was an actor in a mask and he scared the mess out of her. That was great for me to watch."
Connoloy said that he had such a good time at Frite Nite last year that he had to come out again.
"They put on a great show and they are really professional, and I feel it is pretty safe, so we wanted to support everyone while getting a little scare," he said. "I really like the fact that our community works with the military and they work with us because it creates great events like this for everyone to enjoy."
The Fall Festival provided just as much fun for those more faint at heart.
"I like the games, especially the putt-putt game because I keep winning my sister prizes. It was really fun to ride the horses, too," said Alexis Mark, 9. "I got to pet my horse at the end and she was really calm."
The horse experiences at the festival were possibly the biggest hit.
"We knew we had to come if there was an opportunity for them to ride the horses," said Megan Mark, Army spouse. "It is amazing that the stable hosts events out here. It's great that they host an event that caters to the little ones, as well.
"We try to take advantage of all the activities that the post tries to put together for Families, because when they do events it is especially worth it to come out to it," she continued. "It is so great that they have so many on post."