Fort Bliss kicks off summer with water event
POSTED: Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 9:33pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 30, 2014 - 8:56am
FORT BLISS — Isaiah Riley, 11, had a blast slipping down wet slides, propelling toy boats with squirt guns and playing fishing games with his friends at Kelly Park Saturday.
His favorite part, however, was feeling a spray of water from the Anthony, New Mexico, fire truck under El Paso’s hot sun.
“It feels good because you’re all hot here, and when you get even a little bit of water on you, it feels good,” Riley said.
As the city baked under a high of 99 degrees, Fort Bliss kicked off the first day of summer with the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s, “The More Hotter, the More Water,” event, which organizers said attracted more than 3,000 people. Families flocked to the event to participate in a wide variety of water related activities, including a dunk tank.
“I think it’s great,” said Dawn Riley, Isaiah’s mother, who also brought along his two sisters. “I like all the activities.”
Abby Riley, 6, said she went down water slides, played games and raced a boat down a water track by shooting it with a water pistol.
Her favorite part was the face painting, she said, and seeing her friends.
Marlo Brestar, an FMWR special events coordinator, said this was the first year the directorate had held the event, but officials plan to make it an annual occasion.
At the event’s entrance, visitors could suggest a new name for the event, Brestar said. The winner, announced Wednesday, received a bucket full of free goodies from FMWR.
The new name is Aquapalooza, suggested by Virginia Hindbaugh, of Fort Bliss, according to the FMWR Facebook page.
Randy Wilson helped his 2-year-old son Brody navigate the event’s many inflatable slides and other play structures.
“There’s a lot of variety,” he said, adding that Brody particularly liked the inflatable obstacle course.
Vanessa Abad, 9, meanwhile, mused aloud after a ride down a wet, inflatable slide and said, “It was fun. Very fun.”