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Damboree’s water zone a blast for all

Another page in the city’s history has been written and is in the books after Boulder City celebrated its 68th annual Damboree on Monday. And what a celebration it was.

From sunrise to way after sunset, area residents, Boulder City High School alumni, friends and visitors filled city streets and parks to help mark America’s birthday and pay homage to the things that make our town such a great place.

Smiles were plentiful. I saw them everywhere during the event and even more in the photos friends have shared through social media.

There were activities to please practically everyone: a pancake breakfast, parade, food, fun and games in the park, musical entertainment and, of course, fireworks.

It’s hard to say what is people’s most favorite part of the Damboree, but a very informal poll we conducted tied the fireworks extravaganza with the parade’s water zone.

If you have never experienced the water zone, I would highly recommend it. It’s a blast — literally and figuratively.

The water zone surely could be billed as the largest water fight in the nation — or at least the state.

Armed with some of the biggest squirt guns I have ever seen, parade participants and spectators engage in the several-blocks-long fight at the end of the route. They come prepared to battle with buckets, ice chests, trash cans and pickup truck beds filled with water. There was even a water truck that emptied its entire load as it drove along the parade route’s final leg.

The people on the floats took the brunt of the hits. They were attacked from both sides of the street. That’s not to say those on the sidelines didn’t get wet. They did. If not from the parade participants, then from their friends. Everyone was happy to get in on the action.

Surprisingly, my husband and I were smack, dab in the middle of things and barely got a drop on us. It was a rather surreal experience. It kind of felt like one of those movies where time stands still or moves so slowly around the main character that he or she can see every tiny thing happening.

We watched as person after person was hit with water and refilled their squirt guns and water soakers and blasters. A few people even resorted to using hoses to attack.

And through it all, not one person got angry or upset. Laughter and squeals of delight were the order of the day.

I can only imagine how the tradition started. Perhaps someone had a cool refreshing drink and accidentally spilled some and realized how wonderful it felt. Or maybe the liquid spilled on a nearby friend, who wasn’t upset because it helped cool him or her off on a very hot day. Maybe someone was using a hose to wash off and cool down a horse after it marched in the parade and thought, why not cool me down, too.

With temperatures usually in the triple digits in early July, getting wet is a welcome reprieve.

No matter how it started, the water zone has become one of the Damboree’s most-treasured traditions. In fact, it was one of the reasons Dale Ryan and Dyanah Musgrave purchased their home on Fifth Street. The couple, who are probably better known for the Christmas decorations they put up each year, host a party for friends and business associates each year on the Fourth. They help their guests prepare for the fun with tubs of water strategically placed in their yard.

Now only memories and a few reminders of the day’s festivities remain. Flags still wave along the main street in town and patriotic decorations accent the windows of local businesses.

But the spirit of the Damboree continues to thrive. As with any other major event, as soon as one is over planning for the next one begins.

The dedicated members of the Damboree committee are to be congratulated for another successful celebration and thanked for all of their hard work.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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