Corn Festival's Kiddie Water Fights may have almost been canceled, but the last-minute salvage didn't stop the success of the event.
Saturday morning's annual event attracted about 80 kids to participate. For the water fights, two teams of two compete to move a ball across a rope in the air with the spraying water pressure from hoses. The teams compete twice, switching sides, and if there is a tie they go a third time.
The remaining winning teams then compete against each other for the final prize.
The kids dress in rain gear, such as raincoats and ponchos. Most wear goggles so they can see through the water pouring on them from the hoses as they compete.
Five-year-old Emily Rannallo of Morris and Landon Norris, 5, also of Morris, were partners and were one of the first teams to compete.
"We won Mommy!" shouted Rannallo as she ran and hugged her mom, Katie Rannallo, after their first win.
Norris jumped up and down as Rannallo ran to her mother.
Katie Rannallo said they were all really excited when they heard the kiddie water fights were back on. Her daughter had been waiting since last year's fight to get to participate this year.
"It's awesome that they provide so many events for the kids," she said.
Tracey Steffes, chief of the Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District, said he was pleased with the turnout, especially since there were families who still showed up not knowing if the water fights were on or not. The water fights are run by Morris fire.
"It's a good thing for the kids," said the chief.
The water fights were announced as canceled earlier last week when the Morris Fire Department was told it could not borrow Gardner Fire District's equipment this year. Morris usually borrows their miniature hose equipment, but Gardner was unable to lend it due to legal issues.
With the help of Gardner Chief Terry Jensen, Morris Fire was able to borrow equipment from the village of South Wilmington.
Six-year-old best friends Charlie Wright and Sam Mateski, both of Morris, were thrilled when they won their first competition.
"We've been best friends for lots of time," said Mateski.
"(The best part was) that we won!" said Wright.
The boys' parents cheered with pride as the boys forced the ball from their competitors. When they ran to their parents after, the families yelled with joy and shared tips for their next round.
"The teamwork was awesome!" said Missie Wright to the kids.