Weekend Window: Waterball Fight Photoblog. Madison, Indiana

Madison’s Waterball Fight consists of local fire companies testing their aim, strength and endurance in ridiculous heat, to the delight of onlookers.

When we read that a pre-Regatta tradition included a waterball fight on Main Street in historic downtown Madison, Indiana, we didn’t know what to expect. I imagined water balloons or some kind of squishy ball like you throw around in a pool. I wondered if spectators would be forced into participation.

What we found was a completely different concept all together.

It starts with the ball over the center line, hoses intentionally aimed above the ball, waiting for the “Go!”
The two main streams come from the front, but as the ball gets pushed back, the backup nozzle is turned on to try to push the ball back over center.

Here’s a taste of Madison’s Waterball fight to enjoy yourself:

It’s surprisingly exciting, given that the obvious action is the movement of the ball. But you find yourself starting to become sideline experts, wanting companies to swap their front man or their back-up nozzle man, in favor of someone shorter, taller, leaner, stronger, anything that you think might sway the outcome.

The announcers reminded the audience that the fight was taking place in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse, which burned down in 2009. It was a great way to thank all these volunteers for their service in protecting the community, putting their own lives at risk.

I have friends who are firemen, and I really can’t imagine the kind of dedication and endurance it takes to do a mostly thankless job, witnessing tragedy and hoping, always hoping to make the saves that count, the ultimate reward.

I did feel bad for all the young pageant winners who were baking in full sun for the hours-long event, but hopefully the spray of water and wind from the hoses kept them a little cool. But seriously, perhaps an awning from the judges’ truck for them next year…?

It was evident from the crowds that these Jefferson County natives really appreciate their firemen.

Perhaps the best part of all is the excitement from the children. Whether they’re watching their heroes, or just playing in the water, this will get tucked away in their favorite memories.

And really, does life ever get any better than the singular joy found in playing in a puddle?

I was so happy that not only did I learn what a Waterball Fight is, I once again ran into my favorite, FAVORITE Madisonian, Jack Bird. He was there rooting on his local company and taking photos of his friends. He’ll probably give me a mock scowl for putting up his photo again, but I can’t help it. In some ways, Jack Bird IS Madison, for me.

In the end, while trophies were waiting, winning wasn’t the point. The point was the fight, the endurance, the public relations and the camaraderie.

Well, that’s it for this post, friends, except for this parting shot of me, decked out in my 4th of July duds, enjoying Madison.

Love, Marla

7 thoughts on “Weekend Window: Waterball Fight Photoblog. Madison, Indiana

  1. It would see that our paths have crossed in both cyberspace AND the real world. I’ve been a resident of Madison for nearly 14 years now and I’m glad you enjoyed our city and it’s offerings.

    Our cyberspace connection comes from the fact that Ihappen to be one half of the Madison Indiana Observer,specifically the half that does most of the work in running our Facebook page. My co-contributor and editor discovered your blog and has presented your work on both our Facebook page and on the Observer’s homepage. After reading a few entries I realized that you’ve ‘liked’ our Facebook page,thank you so much for that and nice to “meet” you!

    Our real world connection comes in the form of a photo you’ve taken. My family and I were at the waterball fight as well. The tow-headed little guy splashing in the gutter wearing a striped shirt is my son. πŸ™‚

    Those that look in on Madison from the outside see a beautiful,calm,historic village that time has nearly forgotten and then keep driving. I’m glad that you were able to stop and visit with us a while and show others that we are a hustling,bustling,LIVING community and not a museum exhibit that you’re allowed to interact with.

    Come on back sometime!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind post. Your son is adorable. Please let me know if you would like me to email you the original photo or if you are able to download it from the site okay.
      We get to enjoy Madison until the end of July, so I will be blogging some more, hopefully on some Clifty Falls hikes as well as the regatta blogs I will be getting up this week.
      My other plans are to do the Madison walking tour and blog about it. If you have favorites you think I should consider, please let me know.
      I look forward to reading about Madison on your site as well.
      Love, Marla

      1. Thank you for the offer! Yes,if it isn’t any trouble we would love to have your photo of our son. You may send the file to whlong35@gmail.com
        My further recommendations for you to go explore would be (in no particular order):
        The Jefferson County 4-H Fair (currently on-going)
        The Key West Shrimp House
        The Fabric Shop (perhaps the owner will be wearing his kilt)
        Gifts That Last (the owner is trained in Reiki)
        The Ohio Theatre

        All of these places/events have wonderful people or hold importance to our community and I hope will be of interest to you! I could name dozens of things and persons but I’ll leave it at that for the sake of brevity and to entice you to come visit us again sometime. πŸ˜‰

        Enjoy your visit with us,and I’ll be looking forward to your future blog entries!

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