SPOKANE, Wash. -

Hundreds of military families in Spokane got to enjoy the Riverfront Park Looff Carousel Friday night, thanks to Operation Spokane Heroes, who wants to make their holiday season as special as possible.

"Just the laughter of the children and the pure joy of them all being together as a family and just having fun,” said Sandy Kates, a chair of Operation Spokane Heroes.

For many of the kids participating, at least one parent is deployed. That's all forgotten when there's rings to catch. And that's just what Operation Spokane Heroes was hoping for.

The night of fun was paid for by the local organization, offering these families a night of fun.

"It's such an opportunity for the kids to come out and see other military children who are in the same situation as they are," said attendee Deza-Rae Brown.

"At our other base they did not have this and it makes it more family oriented and it gives children something to do while their fathers are away," said another attendee, Adrienne Schneider.

To fill that parental void, at least for the night, was the big man himself: Santa.

Each child walked away with a gift and an irreversible smile.

"Actually getting involved with the Spokane community and coming out and seeing all of the patriotic community services they have out here… it's amazing," said attendee Richard Gonzalez.

At one of Spokane's oldest traditions a new hope for the Christmas season.

"Spokane is one of the most military friendly cities we have ever lived," Brown said.