A traditional holiday event is the All Academies Banquet. This event is very festive, and all of Arkansas' cadets and midshipmen are invited. In reality, it is an opportunity for the parents and guests to view their sons in full dress uniforms (daughters, too, however most of the young women choose to wear their civilian attire). There are formal introductions, and unique military traditions which includes toasts and a POW/MIA memory table. The banquet brings a bit of 'military' home and allows the families a glimpse into their children's military life.
Our All Academies Banquet was held at Little Rock's very beautiful and historic Capital Hotel (President Grant slept here in 1877, legend saying that Grant had been allowed to take his horse upstairs to his hotel room). The banquet food was first class and included a very unique dessert of vanilla and bacon ice cream. Every one at our table ate the ice cream with much skepticism but declared it delicious in the end.
The Capital Hotel's Tree:
We look like this very seldom:
Lastly, Me with My Awesome West Point Cadet:
It is very difficult to believe that this was our third All Academies Banquet. Although, our cadet would offer a slightly different perspective, his time at West Point is passing swiftly.