Jesse Shephard-Bates is trading Handgrenades for water guns.
After performing with his band the Handgrenades during a spring-time street festival in Indianapolis this past spring, Shephard-Bates and company found themselves in the friendly crossfire of a water gun rivalry between the event's staff. He loved it so much, he decided to pull the trigger on organizing a water gun fight in Ferndale.
“I’ve never seen this many comments on an event page before,” Shephard-Bates says. “I thought this was going to be the band and some of our friends but now it's hundreds."
The Great Ferndale Water Gun Fight may seem like total and utter mayhem, but there are some rules. When the numbers of interested participants began to climb, Shephard-Bates turned to the Ferndale Police Department for some feedback.
"I walked them through the event and asked if they had safety concerns. Once the event gets going it's going to be difficult to communicate rules to people. The police said it sounded fun."
The event, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 11 from 2 p.m.-5 p.m., is a very wet version of capture the flag between two neighborhood watering holes —PORT and New Way Bar.
Here's how it works: participants are asked to RSVP and pick a team via the Facebook event discussion page and are required to supply their own distinguishing neon hats — neon pink for Team Port or neon orange for Team New Way. Shooting non-participating, unsuspecting strangers is assault so shoot responsibly. Open intoxication laws will also be in effect as will jaywalking. The event is to take place entirely outdoors and guns should be brightly colored as to not cause mass chaos. When it comes to refilling your wet-weapons, that is up to you. As for winning? That's up to your team.
When asked about water balloons, Shephard-Bates says that they are discouraged though not illegal. Since they create litter upon impact, he reminds that he will be cleaning up the aftermath when all is said and done.
"Ultimately, it's a fun summertime diversion," Shephard-Bates says. "It’s been the heaviest two years. It's time for some fun."
For all the details visit the event's official Facebook page here.
Get our top picks for the best events in Detroit every Thursday morning. Sign up for our events newsletter.