MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE -- MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Take a load off and ride a roller coaster, enjoy a funnel cake or win a prize at Maynia.
Marine Corps Community Services hosted the annual event which invited patrons to halt their everyday tasks and enjoy a wild, event-filled festival aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 16 through 18.
Maynia was an open-to-all event, and invited the base and surrounding community to participate in the three-day festival, which included a carnival, musical entertainment, children’s activities, food vendors and more.
The schedule of events was broken up into three days, which included a wine tasting and petting zoo.
“The Lauren Light Band,” Magician Billy Collins, “Thick as Thieves,” “40 East Band” and “Freeway” performed at the event. Red Bull Jams also displayed a freestyle motocross demonstration which caught the eyes of patrons.
“It was so much fun,” said Rachael Riehle, a patron at the event. “The rides, the Red Bull bike show, it was all awesome. I can’t wait for next year.”
Event staff hoped to reach the hearts of families with kid-friendly events.
“Seeing all those people made me a little wary at first,” said Riehle. “After a while, I started getting on the rides, and there was no stopping me. I enjoyed every second being there.”
“There were events aimed toward making children happy, but there were also things for older participants to do, and I liked that,” said Riehle. “I saw children smiling and laughing with the clown, and I also saw parents and teenagers watching the motocross event.”
Stephanie Garner, also known as Pink Peppermint the Clown, attended the event hoping to bring a smile to children’s faces.
“I come from a long line of jokesters and love to just be happy in life, but I find the wide-eyed smiles and heartfelt laughter of children is the most rewarding,” said Garner. “Making them happy is everything to me. Like any whole heartedly chosen career path, I give 200 percent at all times.”
Garner also added how important it is for her to leave an impression on children.
“I am always in awe of the parents who pull me aside and honestly thank me,” said Garner. “Sometimes I don’t realize how much I have touched that child’s heart. It’s overwhelming to think of the friends I have made for life, watching these kids grow up and now watching their children grow. This alter ego I created 24 years ago has blessed me in life and love more than I could have ever asked for.”
After the event finished and participants cleared, staff was left with the feeling of a successful weekend.
“I’m very happy with the way Maynia turned out,” said Angela Rodier, community recreation program manager for Semper Fit. “It always puts a smile on children’s faces and it reassures families that we are here for them and we’re here to serve the military community. Our job is to provide fun events and programs like this to those who protect us.”
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