As it turns out, an 8-foot-tall sprinkler is a perfectly good way of beating the summer heat.

Dozens gathered at the Grand at Day Point apartments Wednesday to enjoy the giant sprinkler, brought as part of the Goldsboro Fire Department and Goldsboro Police Department's Summer Splash Days program. Spraying water over a quarter of the basketball court near the apartments, the spinning sprinkler brought children out to play and brought community members together.

James and Kiara Melvin brought their three children, Morgan Melvin, 2, Jayden Melvin, 5, and Shaniya Ward, 8, to the blacktop. James Melvin said that this was the first time all year the kids had gotten to play in the water, outside of bath time.

"I think this is a real good thing, it's a great thing," he said.

He was interrupted by Jayden, who ran up to him soaking wet, smiling and reaching for a hug.

Behind them, a growing group of kids ran through the sprinkler and splashed in the water. At one point, a gust of wind caught the water out of the air and flung it toward the watching parents, prompting a hasty retreat.

A few of them instead decided to embrace it, joining the youngsters in the flying water. One mother held on to her young child, laughing as she ran into the water and quickly back out.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m., the event marked the first day in the Summer Splash Days program, said GFD Engineer Hezekiah Jones.

"It's a wonderful program; it's for the community," he said. "Just trying to give people the best customer service possible."

The departments will bring the sprinkler to different communities all summer, revisiting them each multiple times. The locations, dates and times are as follows:

* West Haven Apartments, at the basketball court behind 124 Dupont Circle, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. July 4, 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1, 8, and 15.

* Grand at Day Point Apartments, at the basketball court at South End park, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 5, 12, 19, 26; and Aug. 2, 9 and 16.

* Lincoln Homes, at the basketball court at the end of Poplar Street, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 28; July 5, 12, 19, 26; and Aug. 2, 9, and 16.

* Fairview Homes, at the basketball court at the corner of Edgerton Street and Claiborne Street, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28; and Aug. 4, 11, and 18.