By Linda Hughes
The 2nd Annual Military Winterfest — a celebration for veterans, working military and their families held at Angel Fire Resort — continues through Monday (Feb. 22). The five-day fest features skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, tubing, snowshoeing and a KidFest.
The highlight of the festival is when Dana Bowman, a retired U.S. Army Golden Knight and double amputee, dazzles audiences with his signature American Flag Jump In Saturday morning. Skydiving from an airplane, he’ll make a precision landing onto the base of Angel Fire Resort’s ski mountain. Bowman, who has two special prosthetic limbs when he lost both legs in a parachuting accident, is determined to prove his motto – “It’s not the disability; it’s the ability™.”
Military Winterfest will include ski and snowboard lessons for vets, by vets and an adaptive program for vets with disabilities. Daily activities include a Twilight Colors Retirement Parade down the mountain. Saturday night there will be a Celebratory Dinner featuring a speech by Dana Bowman followed by live music. And, for those with a competitive spirit, organizers have slated Inter-service Fun Races and a prize-giving ceremony on Sunday.
Recognizing the family nature of the festival, there is a KidFest with several activities: a Snow Dog Show, photo ops with a “Snow Bear,” Skijoring, a Juggling Sheriff, a chance to meet a real cowgirl, a Snow Ball Corn Hole Toss, a Snowman Contest, an attempt to establish a Snow Angel Record, and a s’mores and cocoa party.
Military Winterfest 2016 directly supports the National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center. The Center provides treatment for military individuals and families that suffer with Post Traumatic Stress. Its creative therapies have been nationally recognized for their effectiveness in treating the “Invisible Wounds of War.” For more, see veteranswellnessandhealing.org. For festival updates see Facebook.com/MilitaryWinterfest.