For 57 years, the Kuna community has gathered the first weekend in August to celebrate.
Bright and early Saturday morning, dressed in uniform, and aprons, local boy scouts prepared their traditional pancake breakfast — complete with eggs, hash browns, sausages and biscuits and gravy — in Bernie Fisher Park for the public to enjoy. Troop 208 master Dan Johnson said this tradition has been a part of the celebration, Kuna Days, for about 30 years.
The breakfast is supported by Albertsons, which donates the food, Rental Connection, which fills the grills’ propane tanks, and Grills for Rent, which donates use of the grills. Breakfast is ready by 7 a.m.
“This is a wonderful community event,” Johnson said.
Residents also gathered in the morning for a fun run, car show and parade.
Hundreds lined Main Street, some standing, ready, to hear the horn blare. Children held empty bags they hoped to fill with candy. The parade would soon make its way down the street, floats advertising local businesses, services and more.
For the Cantrell family, their spot on Main Street, at each corner of Avenue C, has special significance. For about 10 years, Tally and Robert Cantrell, and their children, grandchildren and other family members, prepare to engage the firefighters in a water balloon fight at the end of the parade.
The tradition started after Robert Cantrell’s cousin was “nailed” with the firehose.
“We decided to retaliate,” Robert Cantrell said. “We’ve been doing it ever since.”
The Cantrell family comes prepared with around 3,000 water balloons. Robert Cantrell and his wife Tally will stand in their two trucks, one on each side of the street, handing out water balloons for children (and some adults) to hurl at the firefighters as they soak the crowd.
This year, the Cantrell family had to work with the Kuna Chamber of Commerce, which organizes Kuna Days, in order to park on Main Street. This year Main Street was closed to traffic and vehicles parking. The Cantrell family got permission to park in their usual spot to keep the water balloon fight tradition going.
“After the firetrucks go through, if there are water balloons left, there’s a fight, with one side of the street to the other,” Tally Cantrell said. “We’d love to keep it going.”
As the firetruck sirens faded, ending the parade, many children and their families made their way down Second Street to the baseball field and BMX bike track for carnival activities and a mud run. Nine-year-old Ali Hillyard joined dozens of other children as they dashed, slipped, slid and climbed the dusty and muddy course.
This was Ali’s first “dirty dash.” Ali enjoyed herself so much, she decided dash a second time.
“It was so fun,” she said breathlessly with a smile.
Right next door, and a little less wet, other children scrambled on blown-up slides and obstacle courses at the Kids’ Carnival.
Kyle Miller Smith attended Kuna Days for his second year this year, this time with his one-and-half-year-old son Hudson.
“I love it,” Miller Smith said as his son bounced lightly in a car on the kids’ train. When asked if there was anything missing from Kuna Days, Miller Smith said he couldn’t think of anything.
“There’s lots of things for kids to do,” he said. “I think it’s a great little time for everybody. … We’ll be back next year.”
Others, like Toby Pfeifer and his family, have been coming for longer.
“The kids just love it,” Pfeifer said. “It’s fun to come down, eat good food. (And) it’s the car show for me. I really enjoy the car show.”
Pfeifer also said Kuna Days is a time and place where he and his family always meet up with friends, often by change. The Pfeifers plan to keep coming back.
The food Pfeifer mentioned could be found centrally located in Bernie Fisher Truck, with a variety of food trucks, including some offering the traditional giant turkey leg. Sizzling smells wafted around patrons touring the vendor booths, lining the perimeter of the park, offering business information, T-shirts, wares and more.
For those determined to spend their entire day at Kuna Days, early evening events included several live music groups, a fire dance behind City Hall and a recreation zone with yard games, small pools, beverages and other attractions for adults.
Once dusk fell, folks made their way down Second and Main streets shouldering folding chairs. Others settled in behind City Hall, outside local bars and in their trucks to watch the annual fireworks show.
The first boom sounded at 10 p.m.
Those close to the ball fields could hear music as they gazed upward. This year, silver swirls spiraled up as reds, greens and purples fountained down. Gold crackles complimented bright bursts lighting up the perfectly black sky. Many held up phones and other devices to catch the 20-minute show, especially when the traditional fire balls were lit, billowing bright yellow and orange flames, ending a plume of smoke.