Approximately 20 young children showed up for the June 23 Stories and Sprinklers kickoff on Vienna Town Green. The number grows larger once school gets out, this year it was June 24. "Who ever thought the kids would still be in school this late?" said Parks and Recreation director Cathy Salgado.
Some of the 5- and 6-year olds appeared to enjoy squeezing the snout of inflated plastic sprinkler-animals, redirecting the water spray. The tiniest ones, who were around 2, picked up the sprinkler game quickly. The children ran around the Green under the watchful eyes of moms and grandmothers.
D.J. Duffy, 6, a morning kindergartner, came by after school with his mom, a friend and his friend’s mom. Jean Duffy noticed the sign at Freeman House promoting the summer fun and she told Susan Toloczko. Nick Toloczko was in D.J.’s kindergarten class.
"It’s good," said D.J. "Getting wet makes it fun. You get sprayed by water and you run through it."
Nick agreed. He said he likes jumping through the water most of all.
A joint effort between the Department of Parks and Recreation and Historic Vienna, Inc. [HVI], Stories and Sprinklers runs from late June through late August every Wednesday. HVI sponsors the storyteller/musician who opens the program at 1 p.m. with a story and some songs. The hokey-pokey was a hit.
Parks and Recreation sets up and supervises the sprinklers. "It doesn’t cost us anything," Salgado said. "We have to water the lawn, anyway."
The interaction among the youngest ones and 6- and 7-year-olds is good, she said. Salgado, who supervises sprinkler time, makes sure of that.
"Once the school-aged kids get out, there’s a lot more running around," she said. "Ninety five degrees probably kept some people away today."
Stories and Sprinklers runs every Wednesday. Storytime, staged under the shade trees of Freeman House, begins at 1 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., following Storytime, Parks and Recreation staff turns on the sprinklers.