JD Robinson, second from left, helps Callum Goff catch air Friday on a swing during Bloomfield Days’ Kids Night at Salmon Park in Bloomfield.
JD Robinson, second from left, helps Callum Goff catch air Friday on a swing during Bloomfield Days' Kids Night at Salmon Park in Bloomfield. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

BLOOMFIELD — Salmon Park was a sea of smiles on Friday.

Bloomfield Days kicked off springtime fun with a special kids event in the community park across the street from the elementary school. The event was organized by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce.

Kandra Esparza, 23, said she walked from her home with her two children to take in the rides and get sprayed by a fire truck. She waited with daughter Liliana, 5, for a turn at the bungee ride while her son, Andrew, 2, made quickly consumed his cotton candy while sitting in his stroller.

"He's pretty sticky — havin' fun," Esparza said. "We were thinking of heading back home, but she (Liliana) really wanted to try the bungee ride when she saw the other kids taking their turns. It's something fun for them to do."

Five-year old Andrew Wood of Aztec, third from left, searches a large mound for money on Friday during the coin dig during Bloomfield Days’ Kids
Five-year old Andrew Wood of Aztec, third from left, searches a large mound for money on Friday during the coin dig during Bloomfield Days' Kids Night at Salmon Park in Bloomfield. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

With the water-squirt-gun obstacle course run by the Police Department, carnival games operated by cheerleaders from the high school and members of a roller derby team, Farmington's King Karaoke holding court on a concert stage, and a sand pile loaded with $400 worth of coins and prizes donated by four area banks, participants appeared to enjoy themselves.

Angelisa Mud was enjoying the carnival atmosphere with her three children and considering belting out a favorite song at the karaoke stage.

"There's a lot of nice things for kids here," said Mud, 26. "The city does, too. There's a lot more here than maybe you see right away."

Her middle son, Nicholas, 5, had a fist full of cotton candy and was thinking about trying karaoke with his mom.

"Do you think you'll try to?" Mud asked him.

"Think so," he said in between bites of his pink cloud of whipped sugar.

Janet Mackey, president of the chamber's board of directors, and three other chamber members organized a hundred or more kids into lines by age group around the "coin dig."

"People keep coming up to me trying to pay for this, and I keep telling them this is free," Mackey said. "Of all the chamber events throughout the year, this is our favorite, to do this for the kids. It's the best."

Seven-year old Violet Wells of Aztec raises her hands Friday as the Bloomfield Fire Department hoses down the kids at Bloomfield Days’ Kids Night at
Seven-year old Violet Wells of Aztec raises her hands Friday as the Bloomfield Fire Department hoses down the kids at Bloomfield Days' Kids Night at Salmon Park in Bloomfield. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

When Mackey gave the signal, the first wave of Bobkittens, a younger version of the High School Bobcats, pawed at the sand pile in search of buried treasure.

After Angelica Duncan, 8, took her turn with other kids her age, she beamed a smile at her dad and handed over her bounty for him to hold for safekeeping — $3.85 in half-dollars, quarters and nickels, plus a bottle of bubbles and a pencil.

Her dad, Eric Duncan, 40, relocated the family from Phoenix last year to the area for work in the oil field.

"We thought we'd try it, take the kids for something different," he said while his son, Eric Jr., 11, clambered over the sand pile. "We're new here. We like it here?" he asked his daughter.

"Yeah," she replied. "Yes, we do."

James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.