QUINCY -- First-grader Liam Johnson didn't have to think twice about what his favorite game was at Tuesday's Mardi Gras celebration at St. Dominic School.
"Shooting the cans down," he said. "In one shot."
Sending the first-grade girls to "jail" might have been a close second for Liam, but he was having fun no matter what. Even his own stint in "jail" was fun "because I could sneak out," he said.
The "can slam" game -- where students used a Nerf gun to knock down a stack of cans -- was a popular attraction at the annual event to raise money for missions and for the eighth-grade class trip in May to St. Louis.
"It's an enjoyable experience for everyone," eighth-grader Avery Grawe said.
The eighth-grade class staffs the games, face-painting station and the food court where Avery sold soda, chips, nachos and popcorn.
Being in charge of the carnival meant the eighth-graders couldn't play the games, but that was all right with Avery.
"I've had enough years to do that," she said.
Instead, she watched preschooler Lizzy Smith cast her line at the fish pond to catch a prize. Lizzy was happy to show off her prize, Chinese handcuffs, to anyone, even though she didn't know what exactly it was she'd won.
Over at the face-painting station, Malaina Peters added a design to the cheek of teacher Molly Stroot, then moved to the next customer in line.
"I think it's cool how that they're excited about it," said Malaina, who sported a camel and a butterfly on her face.
Eighth-grade teacher Donna Richmiller handled ticket sales -- 12 punches for $1, with most games costing two punches -- and enjoyed watching everyone have fun.
Those first-grade boys who sent their classmates to jail "couldn't be any more excited," Richmiller said. "It's a lot of work, but it teaches these kids a little entrepreneurship, as well, what the value of a dollar is."
Richmiller especially enjoyed watching some of her former students enjoying the carnival with their own children.
"I played them. I worked them. Now my kids are here playing them," Anna Benz said. "I just love it. We love St. Dominic's School."
Benz's preschool son, Isaac, most enjoyed the duck pond.
"When I was really young, it was the fish pond. You always were a winner. When I got older, I loved sending my teachers to jail," Benz said.
And the school's Mardi Gras was just as much fun for her as a parent as it was when she was a student.
"It brings the community and the kids to have fun together," Benz said. "It teaches the kids what Mardi Gras is, and they get to experience a party before Lent."