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Base picnic kicks off holiday weekend for Team Malmstrom

One of the many activities to participate in was a car show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

One of the many activities to participate in was a car show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warrior Elizabeth takes aim at the hole in the Jirassic Toss game, one of several where children could win prizes during the base picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warrior Elizabeth takes aim at the hole in the Jirassic Toss game, one of several where children could win prizes during the base picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warriors line up to take a turn making a spin-art picture as a souvenir from the base picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warriors line up to take a turn making a spin-art picture as a souvenir from the base picnic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Child Development Center employee Diane Williams paints a butterfly on the cheek of Monica Payan, 14. The face painting and tattoo booth was a popular attraction at the base picnic July 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Child Development Center employee Diane Williams paints a butterfly on the cheek of Monica Payan, 14. The face painting and tattoo booth was a popular attraction at the base picnic July 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warrior Adriana, 5, enjoys her lunch at the base picnic July 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warrior Adriana, 5, enjoys her lunch at the base picnic July 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

USAA representative Audrey Thompson explains some information to Joann Kiernan while other interested people look over information on the orgranization. USAA was one of the many booths on hand to give out information to those attending the free annual event July 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

USAA representative Audrey Thompson explains some information to Joann Kiernan while other interested people look over information on the orgranization. USAA was one of the many booths on hand to give out information to those attending the free annual event July 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warriors Eric (left) and Justin, both 2, enjoy some carmel corn provided courtesy of the Military Affairs Committee and the Chamber of Commerce. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Little Warriors Eric (left) and Justin, both 2, enjoy some carmel corn provided courtesy of the Military Affairs Committee and the Chamber of Commerce. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Volunteer cooks, from left to right, Mike Croscutt, Erling Juel and Bob Charpentier, get a jump on cooking hot dogs for the base picnic July 1. Mr. Crosscutt and Mr. Charpentier and both affiliated with 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union and Mr. Juel is a member of the Military Affairs Committee. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Volunteer cooks, from left to right, Mike Croscutt, Erling Juel and Bob Charpentier, get a jump on cooking hot dogs for the base picnic July 1. Mr. Crosscutt and Mr. Charpentier and both affiliated with 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union and Mr. Juel is a member of the Military Affairs Committee. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Rachel Kofoed helps some military members get their free lunch to go at the base picnic July 1. The event took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the area in and around Sun Plaza Park. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Rachel Kofoed helps some military members get their free lunch to go at the base picnic July 1. The event took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the area in and around Sun Plaza Park. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Each year a little something changes but each year many things remain the same. The annual military appreciation picnic was moved up to July 1 this year but it still drew record numbers of participants.

Co-sponsored by the 341st Force Support Squadron, Military Affairs Committee of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union and several other local business, the event is held every year as a way to show the military members and their families how much they are appreciated.

"It is a neat thing that we can have this as the kick-off for the fourth of July weekend so that families can come out and just have a good time," said Staci Corder, 341st Force Support Squadron marketing director. "There are a lot of events for the kids, and for families and it's just a great event for everybody."

The menu was traditional barbecue, but the amount of food prepared had to feed nearly 3,000 people. Volunteers cooked and served 2,000 hamburgers; 1,200 hot dogs; and 1,200 bratwursts. More than 500 pounds of potato and macaroni salad; 25 cases of single -erving assorted chips; 100 cases of soda; 85 cases of water; and 500 ice cream cups were also provided.

Entertainment for young and old alike was available throughout the day. There were numerous entries in this year's car show for people to browse through and vote for their favorites. DJ music was provided for everyone's listening pleasure and a variety of informational booths were strategically placed offering free giveaways.

Carnival games such as face painting, a bean bag toss, a bouncy castle and a candy making station kept the little ones entertained.

The Sports and Fitness Center traditionally sponsors a fitness challenge each year, and this year was no exception. However the competition took on a different look from years past and the challenges more resembled picnic-style gaming with the "Grizathalon" being comprised of a three-legged race, wheel barrow race and potato sack race. An obstacle course was also part of the competition.

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Sidebar information:

Grizathalon Winners:
Staff Sgt. Jared Bratsberg and Senior Airman Miguel Graham

Obstacle Course Winners:
Staff Sgt. Tyrone Mester and Airmen 1st Class Patrick Harrison, Joshua Montoya and Mark Malkey

1,600 Meter Relay Winners:

Siblings Blake, Ryan, Jamie and Chris Cross
Each winner won a $25 gift certificate to WalMart.

Car show winners:
1st place Truck: Clint Mallory, 1956 Ford 4x4 Pickup
1st place Sport Motorcycle: Jason Waddy, 2006 Yamaha R1
1st place Classic Motorcycle: John Deyo, 2009 Harley Davidson
1st place Classic Car: Dan Kandilas, 1969 Dodge Coronet
1st place Muscle Car: Ted and Linda Baker, 1971 Pontiac GTO
1st place Sports Car: Larry Duren, 1969 Corvette
1st place Street Rod: Jim Terry, 1938 Ford Pickup
1st place Low Rider: Richard Case, 1961 Buick Electra
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