Offutt celebrates Independence Day with Patriot Fest

  • Published
  • By Kristen Allen, 55th Wing Public Affairs

Team Offutt personnel kicked off their Independence Day holiday weekend with Patriot Fest on July 2, 2022, thanks to the efforts of Air Force Entertainment, the 55th Force Support Squadron and dozens of Team Offutt, AFE and community workers and volunteers.

“Without the volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to pull this off,” said Capt. Brian Boarman, Offutt’s Patriot Fest lead project officer. “It’s been a team effort on all levels, and it’s just been fantastic. This is the third year we’ve been trying to put something on for the base. The team that’s been supporting everything and doing everything has been there from the get-go, so they had all the groundwork laid ahead of time.”

The afternoon began with a family fun zone featuring games, inflatable rides, bounce houses, face painting and other activities for kids. John Michael Montgomery, The Band Perry and Runway June performed a concert later in the evening. All the artists appreciated the chance to share their music and spend some time with the military community.

“I feel like every 4th of July we’re performing somewhere for the military,” said Natalie Stovall from Runaway June. “Honestly, it’s my favorite way to celebrate the holiday.”

“None of us would be able to do what we do without our military,” said Jennifer Wayne from Runaway June. "It’s the least we can do to try to give something back. We love playing for the military. We wish we could do it every day.”

Montgomery had the chance to relax a little and enjoy his time at Offutt and in the local community.

“The hospitality here has been unbelievable,” said Montgomery. “I got to play golf. I got to hang out with some great people and eat some unbelievable food. Y’all got the hospitality down.”

“Offutt has been so great,” said Stevie Woodward of Runway June. “It’s been such a warm welcome and the weather here is beautiful. Everybody has just been so nice. We love it.”

Boarman said his team’s efforts made Patriot Fest a success, and it was evident in the throngs of people he saw throughout the day.

“I don’t have specifics on the number of people, but just looking at the parade field and seeing that there’s people from end to end out here is just great,” said Boarman. “There’s active duty, families, retirees and others out here. Everybody’s just coming out to celebrate and have a good time, which is awesome.”

Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander, said this was a great opportunity to celebrate after the various challenges Offutt has faced over the past three years.

“We had the trifecta of terrible. We’ve hopefully fought our way out of the COVID bunker. We’re fighting our way out of our runway being down, and we’re fighting our way out of the flood damage,” said Thompson. “When we can get the whole military family across Omaha, Papillion, Plattsmouth, Bellevue and other surrounding communities together, there’s nothing better.”

Artist meet and greet photos can be found here: