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(Elizabeth Lewis – Daily Press File Photo)

School is out, temperatures are rising, and it’s time once again for Artesia to get “wet and wild.”

Ride for Bikes’ annual Wet ‘n Wild Tour event will hit the street Saturday, June 10, at the Eddy County Fairgrounds.

Participants are invited to bicycle, run, skate or just stroll their way through the course, which is dotted with Soaker Stations whose wild water and foam contraptions are designed to drench.

In addition to eight Soaker Stations this year, the Tour will also feature “The Mack Attack,” New Mexico’s tallest waterslide, sponsored by Mack Energy Corp.

“Nowhere in the nation is this kind of event put on, and that is because of the great cooperation and support we get in this town and county,” said Robby Gaines, Ride for Bikes’ director of events.

Gaines extended thanks to the Tour’s sponsors and supporters, which include:

Coats Plumbing, Constructors Inc., BNR Water Service, Dynamic Heating and Cooling, Navajo Refining fire department, Artesia Fire Department, Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department, Artesia Elks Lodge, Echo Construction, Artesia National Bank, Western Bank, Artesia Physical Therapy, Artesia Chamber of Commerce, Holly Energy, HollyFrontier, Artesia Lanes, Austin Construction, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Eddy County Road Department, Eddy County Fairgrounds, Hocker and Sons, and Santo Petroleum.

“And, of course, all of those coming out to volunteer or participate,” said Gaines.

The Wet ‘n Wild Tour funds the organization’s Ride to Meet the Challenge Scholarship, an $8,000 award presented for use at a college, trade school or specialty school.

“This scholarship program is different in that it is awarded to a student that has overcome a challenge in their life and are ready to move on,” said Gaines. “This year, we had 46 applications, and we chose two students who will be introduced at the Wet ‘n Wild Tour.

“This year in May, our first recipient, Destiny Lopez, graduated with a degree in criminal justice. In five years, we have given out $64,000 in scholarships.”

The Wet ‘n Wild Tour is open to all ages. Children ages 0-7 may participate free. For ages 8-17, the cost is $15, $25 for ages 18 and up.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. June 10 at the fairgrounds, with the tour set to start at 9 a.m. for walkers, followed by runners and bikers.

This year’s event will also pay tribute to a former member of the Artesia Fire Department family.

“We are commemorating one of Artesia’s citizens that passed away in March, Danielle Brady, who worked at the Artesia Fire Department and gave countless hours to support the community and Wet ‘n Wild,” Gaines said. “We will have a stick-on tattoo that people can ask for and wear.”

For more information on the event or to make a donation to the Ride for Bikes Scholarship and the organization’s annual Christmas bike build, visit www.rideforbikes.com.