"Kids and water frequently make nice pictures. Often these pictures can become repetitive and predictable, so it is my challenge to make them distinctive. The key in this case was to get as close to the subject as I could to make people feel as if they were standing right next to these kids getting wet themselves. In fact while making the picture I became soaked." _ Douglas R. Clifford
Ian McKenzie, left, and Daniel Sutyak get soaked by a fire hose on July 19 during an equipment demonstration at their preschool by the Land O'Lakes Volunteer Fire Department. The 6-year-olds, both of Land O'Lakes, and about 30 other children at the Kids' Stuff Preschool and Daycare learned about firetrucks and firefighting.
"The rich hues of the hot air balloons, combined with the juxtaposition of the balloon in the sky, and the heat from the flames combine to make this photograph from a Balloon Glow at Celebration Pasco 2000, a millennium celebration at Starkey Ranch in Odessa."
_ Carrie Pratt
Hot-air balloons light up the evening sky over Starkey Ranch in Odessa on May 13 for an event called a "balloon glow." The balloonists competed in a race earlier in the day as part of Celebration Pasco 2000 at the ranch.
"The moment in this photo captures the joy and feeling of expression as two brothers help keep their ancient customs alive. Looking at their expressions shows the level of pride they share. It is a sweet moment."
_ Joseph Garnett Jr.
Israel Salinas, left, an Aztec from Mexico City, plays the drum as his brother, Jose Salinas, performs the "Dance of the Smoking Mirror" in Sims Park in New Port Richey on March 17 during the Chasco Fiesta.
"The reason why this is my favorite image from the year 2000 can be summed up in one word, attitude. I think the kid has enough attitude for everyone on stage. It's a nice light-hearted picture that makes me smile every time I look at it."
_ Janel Schroeder
From left, Devon Wood, 7, scrunches out his biceps while J.T. Thomas, 7, and Stephanie Collins, 6, strike poses during the Mr. and Miss Wesley Chapel contest on June 5 at Weightman Middle School. Organizers of the contest, which is for high school kids, thought parading the kids would be a good ice breaker.