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Science, art, fun combine in mini-fruitcake toss in Colorado Springs

January 3, 2015 Updated: January 4, 2015 at 7:32 am
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photo - Kids get ready to take part in the Mini-Catapult Fruitcake Toss Sunday, January 3, 2014, at the Imagination Space at the Citadel Mall. Kids built their own catapults and competed for prizes for distance, accuracy and best decorated. Photo gallery at Gazette.com Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Kids get ready to take part in the Mini-Catapult Fruitcake Toss Sunday, January 3, 2014, at the Imagination Space at the Citadel Mall. Kids built their own catapults and competed for prizes for distance, accuracy and best decorated. Photo gallery at Gazette.com Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

A fusillade of marshmallows launched from handmade wooden cannons pelted volunteers and parents as more than 30 kids ages 2 to 13 tried out their gadgets.

The fruitcakes would fly next.

Saturday's Mini-Catapult Fruitcake Toss was a smaller affair - in the number of people and size of the cannons - than the long-running Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss that ended in 2013, but kids had the chance to build, decorate and use their catapults in the event at Imagination Celebration's iSpace at The Citadel mall.

The second annual event, which featured a distance and accuracy competition, was put on by Cool Science and Imagination Celebration. Last year's event was at the Manitou Art Center in Manitou Springs.

"It's art, it's engineering, it's food, it's everything," said parent Carrie Dunlap, who was watching the kids launch balls of fruitcake wrapped in tinfoil. Catapults made by two kids launched the fruitcake 38 feet, the farthest recorded Saturday.

Nicole Niles, whose four children took part flinging the balls of tinfoil across the wood floor, said the event was an opportunity for her kids to do a hands-on and engaging activity instead of sitting in front of a television. Luca, her 2-year-old son and the youngest child who launched Saturday, did so with the help of Alexis, his 12-year-old sister.

Catapults made by Alexis and her brother Coldon, 9, won awards for the best decorated.

"Just good family fun," Nicole Niles said.

Participants used a wooden block, wooden pegs and sticks and handfuls of rubber bands to put the catapults together. Some came to a building session Tuesday and returned for the contest Saturday with premade and decorated catapults.

Francesco Gallegos, 7, was one of those kids. His "Darth-a-pult" was spray-painted black and decorated with a silver drawing of Darth Vader. Francesco brought his catapult to the event in a box and unveiled it for the launch contests. While he did not win any of Saturday's competitions, Francesco was happy with how his catapult looked and operated.

"It goes really high."

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Contact Stephen Hobbs: 636-0275

Twitter @bystephenhobbs

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