Ten-year-old Daniel Ribbens speaks with his mother, Nora, moments before throwing wet sponges and a water balloon at her through a hole cut in plywood as part of a game set up inside the Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink during the Family Fun in the Midnight Sun celebration Saturday in Nikiski.
Photo by Matt Tunseth
Plenty of family fun made up for a lack of sun Saturday, as central Kenai Peninsula residents gathered under umbrellas, tarps and inside hockey rinks to make the best of what turned out to be a watered-down summer solstice weekend.
Saturday's showers didn't dampen the spirits of the hundreds who visited the Family Fun in the Midnight Sun celebration at the North Kenai Recreation Area. Hiding out from the downpour inside the Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink at the North Peninsula Recreation Area, celebrants were treated to a host of games, activities and food sponsored by the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area and the Nikiski Fire Department.
Getting wet was unavoidable, however, even for many inside the building. One of the most popular games allowed participants to throw soaking wet sponges and water balloons at defenseless volunteers poking their heads through a plywood cutout.
Ten-year-old Daniel Rib-bens seemed to enjoy the game more than most kids who played. That's because he had a special interest in soaking the woman behind the board his mother, Nora.
"It was fun," Daniel said after scoring a direct hit on his mom. "Especially the water balloons."
Other solstice events held Saturday included the KDLL Art and Music Festival which saw a number of local bands take the stage throughout the day, despite the conditions and motocross races at Twin Cities Raceway that left both spectators and riders covered head-to-toe in mud.
Despite the rain, most people who ventured out to celebrate the longest days of the year were in good spirits, and those who stuck around were even treated to a couple of breaks in the weather during the afternoon.
In Nikiski, another participant in the sponge-and-balloon affair, Sawyer Skiba, said he was having even more fun than he'd expected. As he took his turn soaking volunteer Jon-athan Wheeler, Skiba laughed and threw his sponges with a special zeal.
However, despite his exuberance, Skiba admitted that his precise tosses at Wheeler's face may have some unintended consequences in the future.
"The bad part is he's gonna kill me when I get home," Skiba said. "He's my neighbor."
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