Children were shooting guns, smashing plates and throwing darts in the maze of flashing neon lights Thursday night as the sweet scent of fried dough wafted through St. Peter’s Fiesta.
But it was all in good fun, as most walked away with stuffed animals, hats and other prizes.
It may have been cloudy and drizzling, but that didn’t stop children and their parents from enjoying the festivities of the 86th incarnation of the festival Thursday, and taking in the carnival games that have, along with the Fiesta rides, become a Fiesta staple of their own.
Thursday was Tim Ketchopulos’s eighth birthday, and he stepped up to give one game his best shot.
The Gloucester youngster wound up and let loose a baseball — but it just bounced off the plastic plate he was aiming at. The game’s attendant broke it for him, out of good faith.
“It was so good,” Tim exclaimed while helping his five-year-old brother Jackson with another pitch.
Tim helped his brother out, and after the two traded stuffed toys, Jackson walked away with a plush dog, while Tim went with a smaller “Garfield.”
“I wish (the plates) were glass,” Tim said.
The ecstatic eight-year old had a hard time choosing a favorite game.
“I really like them all,” Tim said.
He was not alone.
Just across the alley, Melissa Hansford let loose a hail of pellets from a toy gun, attempting to carve out a paper star at the end of the shooting range.
“It was pretty easy,” she said confidently, sporting the new camouflage baseball cap she had just won.
Six-year-old Isabella Murawski of Gloucester had good aim, too; she hurled darts at the unsuspecting balloons that were about to meet their fate; she hit four in a row Thursday night.