Looming rainclouds didn’t keep families away from a water balloon fight at Roosevelt Park Saturday afternoon.
Music played from a stereo at the park pavilion and water balloons flew through the air while the Temptations sang “I got sunshine on a cloudy day.”
The water fight, organized by Elkhart resident Quentin Clarkson, was sponsored by the Historic Roosevelt Tenant Association and the Elkhart Fire Department.
From a soaked toddler who took her pacifier out of her mouth to cry before playing again, to parents and grandparents who threw balloons just as energetically as their kids, all ages showed up.
“I love it,” Clarkson said. “You get to see kids here doing this instead of being in the street. I love it.”
More than 400 water balloons were used up in the first hour, but firefighters and organizers at the scene quickly set up a slip and slide with a tarp and a fire hose on a low setting. Kids were hesitant at first, but soon ran and slid in clumps.
Ten-year-old Alexis Leonard said she and her brother Louis, 6, didn’t get to swim this summer as much as they usually do. So when her aunt told her about the water fight, she was excited to go.
“We decided to come out and play in the water,” she said, smiling.
Hot dogs and chips were donated for the event, so after getting soaked, some people moved to the pavilion to eat.
Others, like 10-year-old Cadence Snyder and her 12-year-old brother Cory, got in line for an inflatable slide that organizers set up across the park from the pavilion. Kids crowded onto the steps and slid down into a wading pool, filled up by the fire hose.
Firemen Jake Leighty and Victor Valdez helped man a truck donated by the fire department, which supplied water for the event.
“Of course!” Leighty said when asked if he was having fun. “It’s not raining anymore!”