Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 27, 2011

Splashmob in Downtown Bellingham

Editor’s Note: We will return to more political reporting soon. I have a follow-up on the “Doug Ericksen is anti-working people” story I posted a few days ago, and maybe another candidate interview here soon. But in the meantime, this report.

Splashmob in motion

A “Flashmob” is a group of people, who organize online, to assembled and carry out one specific action. Splash is the sound of a waterballon hitting you. Combine the two, and you have a “SPLASHMOB!”.

Emma and Abby

Emma and Abby

 Emma and Abby (pictured left) created a facebook event asking anyone and everyone to come to the corner of Railroad and Holly, and at precisely 1pm, engage in a giant water balloon fight. To protect innocent bystanders, the participants were instructed to wear white and only throw at people wearing white and obviously involved in the event.

So slowly, people gathered.Many awkwardly wander around trying to guess if others were waiting too. The minutes counted down.


Out for a Splashmob picnic

Some sly groups brought balloons in shopping bags or more often, backpacks. This couple had a delightful picnic basket full.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Before I knew it, a yellow convertible drove up next to the crowd and let loose a blast from an airhorn. Chaos exploded around me as water filled the air. I fled with camera to a safe distance and tried to catch the pandemonium.

It Begins

Toss Away

The spray of war

As far as good clean fun goes, I couldn’t imagine a better sort of event.

Over 85 people participated, young and old. A boy by the name of Jacob kept close to his mother’s legs as she dutifully handed him balloons to throw the two feet he could throw before they rupture on the pavement.

Jacob tosses another one

While there was some general grumbling about snarling up traffic for fifteen minutes, I didn’t see any other disgruntled passers by. There were several seemingly new friend made that day.


"That was AWESOME!"

All and all, it was a fine day for online organizing, people who hate the heat, and general good-natured fun. To any nay-sayers out there, most of the crowd stayed afterwards to help clean up all the plastic. Now that is public service.

Update: Check out a video here (warning, there is some salty language)

Clean Up



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