COLUMBIA — Some Mill Creek Manor neighborhood parents got together Tuesday to throw a surprise end-of-school block party for their kids.
“We have a very close-knit group of neighbors, and I wanted to do something special for the summer,” said Tricia Rackers, a mom and party hostess. “It was hard keeping it a surprise.”
Younger children and some students already out of school waited alongside the party chaperones for the school bus to arrive for the last time this school year.
The long-awaited bus rolled up at about 1:40 p.m. as “School's Out” by Alice Cooper blared from speakers at the party.
Nine-year-old Cole Rackers ran down the steps of the bus shouting, “I got Ss and Es, Mom!" referring to "satisfactory" and "excellent" marks.
A group of moms overtook the kids, shooting them with water guns. “They’re spraying me in the eyeball,” Cole complained.
The moms quickly surrendered their remaining weapons to the kids, who then waged a water war on one another.
Four of the children ran around wearing black T-shirts, and Derrick Evers, 8, asked, “How do you wear black when it’s, like, 80 degrees?” (The temperature displayed at a nearby bank read 91 degrees right before the event began.)
The moms, later joined by a dad, checked to make sure each child had applied sunscreen during the pre-rain, hot afternoon filled with water guns, water balloons and snow cones.
Although he had a cast on his left arm, Bobby Reichert, 10, ran around catching water balloons. He had broken his pinky finger in a baseball game Monday night.
The kids played a game in which they stood in a circle and threw water balloons to each other. A few of them broke the balloons on purpose. Tricia Rackers sat near the bowl of balloons, pelting kids as they ran by.
“This is the awesomest party ever,” declared 8-year-old Andrew Reichert.
Intricately decorated cupcakes, which featured Sour Patch Kids tanning under paper umbrellas, found their way inside and outside of the kids’ mouths. Among those kids was 18-month-old Lexi Thiessen, who savored bites far too large for her small mouth.
Of all the kids interviewed, only 8-year-old Laurel Ayers said she would miss school, “because it’s fun, and I get to learn stuff every day.”
Evers said he enjoyed his last day of second grade.
“We had a recess that was practically all day," he said.