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Water balloon effort in Somerton a bust
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Rats — not enough splats.
It wasn't for lack of effort or enthusiasm, but the city of Somerton fell short in its attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records Wednesday by staging the world's largest water balloon fight at the Somerton July 4th Festival.
Only 1,001 people came out to Council Avenue Park to lob water grenades — far short of the 9,000 or so needed for Somerton to officially make its mark in the water balloon fight chronicles. Still, organizers say that's 1,001 kids (and kids at heart) who had good, clean, wet fun. That's not bad for a town that the census says only boasts about 14,000 residents.
The city hoped to break the world water balloon fight record set last summer by a group of Kentucky college students, who staged an event that drew 8,957 participants and 175,141 balloons.
Somerton's balloon bash only took between 6,000 and 7,000 balloons. Even at that small (by world record standards) number, just filling the balloons took three days, said Daisy Barrios, Somerton Parks and Recreation secretary. Maintenance workers rigged up a sprinkler line with several outlets to allow for efficient filling.
Popping those balloons took about 10 minutes. Squared off in two groups like an old-time battle formation, the balloon-throwers chucked, pitched, heaved and hurled until all that was left was a big puddle and colorful scraps of rubber.
This was the first time Somerton had organized a water balloon fight to go along with its traditional festival of food, fireworks, music and water slides.
With better advertising, they hope to have a better turnout next year.