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BALLSTON SPA: Swimming under the stars

No one needed sunscreen Saturday night, Aug. 12, as the village of Ballston Spa's municipal pool opened at night for a swimming under the stars event.

The once-a-year event brought about 400 water enthusiasts to the pool, which was open from 8 p.m. to midnight.

With a chill in the air, most of the splashing in the pool came from kids bopping around beach balls, although a few brave parents went in and tried to stay dry above the waist.

The first 250 people through registration at a picnic table received free T-shirts with glow-in-the-dark stars. Lots of kids put on the shirts to warm up after their dip. All attendees were offered free hot dogs, hamburgers and chips. Outside the pool's fence, a grill roared for toasting marshmallows.

This is just the best night, said Aubrey Thomas, 12, her marshmallow poised over a small flame. "I'm trying not to burn it, but it's hard to see in the dark."

A disc jockey blasted tunes, including the ever-popular "Macarena" and "Electric Slide" before breaking out the karaoke.

"This is one of our best family events," said organizer Meg Stevens, who is also a candidate for Milton's town council. "The T-shirts were gone in the first half hour. We'll go through hundreds of hamburgers and at least 20 bags of marshmallows."

The pool was decorated with strings of white lights and huge stars. Bugs danced in the glow of enormous stadium lights with whining generators to keep the pool area well-lit for the lifeguards working overtime.

A line snaked from the diving board as kids flipped and belly flopped into the deep end. Kids who hadn't seen their schoolmates since June shared their early back-to-school woes.

"It isn't like it's the end of the summer," said Frankie McGovern, 13. "There's still plenty of time left to swim."

Then, shivering, he dove into the water and proclaimed it "very warm.""

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