FAYETTEVILLE, N.C (WTVD) -- The holiday season kicked off at Fort Bragg Wednesday night as hundreds of families gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
"The family of the year embodies the Army family and strong lifestyle. Their strength is rooted in personal faith," said Lt. Gen. Erik Kurilla.
SFC Brian Marquis, his wife Tiffany and their sons, Brian Jr. and Austin. were honored to be the 2019 Family of the Year.
Fort Bragg's Main Post Parade Field transformed into a holiday village equipped with a polar express train, Kidz Corner with bouncy houses and a sledding hill with snow.
"It gives them the memories and stuff we can talk about years from now," said SSG Doneicesea Sealey.
From thousands of feet above the field, the Army's Golden Knights dropped in to greet the guests. The Poole Elementary School Chorus sang holiday tunes as well. Fort Bragg officials told ABC11 the lighting of the 25-foot Fraser Fir attracts nearly 1,500 people.
"It's a great tradition. I think it's important to have things like this to build a sense of community and comradery," said SPC Matheu May.
Fort Bragg lights 25-foot Christmas tree to kick off holidays, names family of the year