Bring your blasters to NNO

Monmouth and Independence are planning a community water gun figth on Aug. 7.

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Monmouth and Independence are planning a community water gun figth on Aug. 7.



MONMOUTH — For maybe the first time in National Night Out history, organizers are asking community members to come ready for a fight — a water gun fight.

National Night Out

National Night Out is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 7, at Faith Lutheran Church on the S-Curves

Bring your best waster blaster and register at the event by 6:45 p.m.

The first 400 Koyotes tacos are free. Limit of two tacos per person.

Water Battle registration is free. Participants will be sorted into two age groups. Parents may play in either age group with their kids.

Every year Kimber Townsend, program coordinator for Polk County CERT, gets together with a team of representatives from Polk County Fire District No. 1 and the Monmouth and Independence police departments to plan NNO, which is the first Tuesday of August each year.

IPD Sgt. Justin Hedlund suggested a dunk tank, given that the weather will probably be hot and kids love water, Townsend said.

Because dunk tanks are expensive and in high demand in the summer, Townsend thought a water gun fight would fit the bill.

“Of course, it would need to be a big water gun fight, and last more than just one water fill could handle for it to be the keystone activity of the evening,” Townsend said. “All that was left was to convince two sergeants and one fire chief. Turns out it really wasn’t that hard to do.”

In previous NNO’s they’ve played basketball, volleyball and football.

Those games somewhat restrict participation to older children, Townsend said, but every “kiddo” knows how to have a water gun fight.

“Our goal with the NNO event each year is to go out and play with the kids in our community,” Townsend said. “We want to see big smiles, hear joyful laughter and build a positive relationship.”

The event gives people a chance to see that inside “those imposing uniforms are ordinary men and women, they’re just some kid’s mom and dad, and someone they can trust,” she added.

There will be a competitive nature to the battle.

“I looked up the U.S. water gun fight record because, well, everyone needs goals, right?” Townsend said.

Students at the University of California, Irvine hold the current record, which they set in 2013 with 3,875 participants.

This year, Townsend said they’re hoping for 200 to 250 people to attend, but Townsend said she’s ordering 500 participant wristbands, just in case.

“I’m really hoping that our community embraces the idea and comes out in droves,” Townsend said. “If we can build on that interest and fun each year for a couple years, then who knows? We could be ready to vie for a record-breaking water fight in, say, three years? Maybe five? It all just depends on how much fun our kids, families and community partners have, and how many more people they draw into the event each year afterwards.”

At press time, Townsend had not yet decided on her weapon of choice.

“It’s a tough choice,” Townsend said. “Polk Fire is filling two huge water tanks for people to reload in, so I can’t decide between a double barreled Stream Machine DB-1200 that reloads faster, or a Siyushop 2000 ml Super Soaking Water Gun that holds more capacity with each refill. I’m hoping to find one with a backpack tank — now that would be a winner for sure!”



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