BLAZE Fest celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, food, fun

  • Published
  • By Airman Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Team BLAZE commemorated and celebrated 243 years of American independence July 3 during BLAZE Fest on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

Airmen and their families enjoyed various contests, three-legged races, carnival rides, bouncy houses, a petting farm, a dunk tank and a fireworks display.

Staff Sgt. Crystal Geberth, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief executive, volunteered at the celebration.

“It was a lot of fun seeing different groups and personnel across the wing come together to have fun and connect with each other,” Geberth said. “Coming together as a wing and putting something together for each other is always great.”

The fest kicked off at 4 p.m. with the Eagles versus the Chiefs kickball game. The eagles defeated the chiefs 2-1 in a close competitive match.

Afterward, members of Team BLAZE had the opportunity to dunk wing leadership in a dunk tank.

Col. Samantha Weeks, Col. William Denham, Chief Master Sgt. Raul Villarreal Jr., Col. Gary Hayward and Col. Derek Stuart all took turns in the tank.

The band, Style Entertainment, performed live music on stage throughout the evening and the night was capped off with a fireworks show, ending around 9:30 p.m.

Michael Birriel, 14th Force Support Squadron community services flight chief, was one of the many individuals from the 14th Mission Support Group that made BLAZE Fest possible.

“We worked with many supporting agencies inside and outside the MSG,” Birriel said.

He said the various agencies played a part in making BLAZE fest possible and it would not have happened without them.

He said 1st Lt. Rachel Burmester, 14th FSS Officer in Charge of community services, was the main project officer for the event and he gave her a lot of credit for such a successful event, “She did a fantastic job, I was glad to have her leading the charge.”