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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Libby Hootman, 7, left, and cousin A.J. Makan, 10, enjoy a little time outside together Tuesday at Family Fun Day.

Family Fun Day just right in heat

Hula hoops and bubbles, balloons and bounce houses

When 15-year-old Evan Bahan took hold of the firefighter’s hose, he sprayed at a leaf that had landed on West Douglas Avenue.

He moved the hose up and down, left and right – bouncing the leaf around the street.

“I wanted to feel what it was like to use one of them,” Bahan said of the hose. “It was pretty cool.”

Bahan and his family wandered around the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory during Family Fun Day on Tuesday at the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival.

Kids could dance and do the hula hoop in bubbles or plant their own flowers. There was a scavenger hunt with a prize at the end, balloon animals, bounce houses and more.

An engine from the Fort Wayne Fire Department sprayed water up in the air for kids to play under and get some relief from the record-high temperature of 100 degrees.

Christy Bahan said she brought her two daughters and two stepchildren to the event because the crowds aren’t as big.

“It’s definitely something different to do,” she said. “That way it’s not the same old thing all summer.”

Four-year-old Cassie Bahan ran in and out of the spray of water.

“I think you’re good for now,” Christy Bahan told her daughter.

“No I’m not,” she giggled before running back into the water.

The water was a welcome relief for not only some of the kids, but a few of their parents who decided to wet their faces in the spray.

Fort Wayne is in the midst of a marathon heat streak and, as of Tuesday, had 21 consecutive days with temperatures of 90 degrees or higher.

For the Bahans, Family Fun Day is all they need.

“I’m not big on crowds, so this is the only thing we’ll see,” Christy Bahan said.

After leaving the fire engine, the family went and danced in some bubbles.

Kids also had the chance to go from wet to dirty.

They could learn how to plant their own marigold with the help of conservatory gardener Shelly Andrews.

“We want kids to get their fingers dirty,” Andrews said. “At home, they probably use shovels.”

Soon, a group of three young kids circled around Andrews as she showed them how to put the plant in a tiny pot to take home.

Andrews showed them how to lightly press the dirt around the tiny seedling, and she gave them instructions on how to care for the plant.

“Marigolds like a lot of sun,” she told them before they went on their way. “Be sure to come back and see us next year.”