COLUMBIA — There were bubbles everywhere at the July installment of Columbia's Family Fun Fest at Flat Branch Park. Children's gleeful faces reflected in the orbs, some small like marbles and others larger than their makers.
Some of the largest bubbles appeared next to a booth staffed by volunteers from the Good Shepherd Lutheran School. In addition to several commercial bubble wands, a custom, handmade wand fashioned from two wooden dowels required a two-handed approach to wield and produced bubbles extending more than 8 feet.
The bubbles drifted by a large bounce-house-style obstacle course, where Cristiano Delgado, 5, and his brother, Carlos, 4, energetically catapulted from section to section, while their mother, Molly, juggled the six shoes from her two sons and their friend, Xavier Wallace, 5.
"I'm the shoe carrier," she said with a laugh.
A riff from BJ Talley's electric guitar wafted from the middle of the park as he led a group of enthusiastic youngsters and their parents in acting out the various actions of the hokey pokey.
Further down the park, Erica Peters sat on a bench next to the dozens of sticks of sidewalk chalk that littered the ground while she fed Corbin, her 8-week-old son. Wednesday marked the second time she visited the Family Fun Fest this year, and her other son, 3, kept busy during the event, which lasted two hours.
"We did the play house. We got our face painted," she said. "He got a baseball. Played in the bubbles."
The Family Fun Fest is held on the third Wednesday of the month through October, and each has its own theme. The next one, "Around the World," will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at Flat Branch Park.
Supervising editor is Peter Marek.