BROOKFIELD – Always one of the biggest events of homecoming weekend, the Whing Ding was on wheels Saturday night in Brookfield.
Held at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex, throes of people swarmed around the parking lot, dodging from game to game with smiling faces.
In the center of the lot, crowds of young and old alike gathered around a coin-toss contest, flicking their loose change at a range of bottles and glasses in the center of the ring. At one end, teenagers gathered around the toilet toss – a game that entails tossing a roll of toilet paper into an open toilet – and the always-popular dunk tank.
Noah McCallum threw down serious money to maintain his spot at the front of the line, buying 20 throws at whichever victim got in his way. The kid was a sniper, knocking down volunteer after volunteer with just one or two throws.
A few feet away, Colin and Valerie Hawks took in the action while enjoying a plate of fries.
“He’s been talking about this all day,” Valerie said. “He couldn’t wait until seven o’clock to get his fries.”
The couple moved to the area 10 years ago, and have been coming to the Whing Ding ever since.
“It’s just what Brookfielders do, isn’t it?” she laughed. “It can be kind of hard to move into a small town where everyone is already so close. So this has always been a chance to meet people and see friends.”
Her favorite part, however, is seeing the youth of the community having fun.
“I love coming to watch the kids, you know, they always seem so happy while they’re playing games. It’s great to see the smiles on their faces.”
Herb McCallum strolled around the parking lot, taking in the action and enjoying the live band.
“Well I’ve been in the community for more than 30 years now, so this is just something I’ve done every year,” he said. “I used to volunteer and help out with all the booths and games, but now I just try to enjoy it for myself.”
The week provided a chance to see a lot of familiar faces from the past, he said, including a run-in with local hockey star Zach Sill the night before.
“It’s great to see all these people coming home,” he said. “Whether they’re old friends who moved away years ago, or people like Zach. It’s always fun.”
Back at the dunk tank, Noah McCallum claimed another victim.
“Come on, you have to get back in there!” he yelled to Trent Dyas after sinking him on his second throw. Moments before that, he’d downed Jacob King in two as well.
“I’m not getting back in there, no way!”
“Come on, I have 16 balls left, what am I supposed to do?”