By Amanda Meyers, Contributor
Water was once again the topic of discussion in downtown Omaha on Aug. 13. Only this time it was on a happier note, as swarms of people soaked one another in Omaha’s first ever “Splash Mob.”
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Old Market. The sun was shining, the air was hot and it seemed as though everyone could use a little cooling off. The corner of 11th and Howard streets became unusually busy as it neared the noon hour. Innocent bystanders had no idea what was coming as the first person drew a water gun and declared war.
Participants came prepared with all sorts of weapons, from basic spray bottles to gigantic super soakers. However, they were advised to leave the water balloons at home to ensure safety and prevent littering.
“It’s a cool way for people to be creative and interact with each other,” said Elizabeth Stumbaugh, who took part in the water fight. “At the same time you’re using each other to create something bigger. And it’s entertaining!”
The event was advertised on Facebook and drew a diverse crowd, from families with young children to teenagers and fun-seeking adults. About five minutes after the initial splash was made, the water fight flash mob was coming to an end as people’s toys began running out of water.
When all was said and done, the water fight brought nothing but smiles and laughter. Unfortunately, the result was different for an Essex man who planned a very similar event last week. He was charged with “encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence” after allegedly attempting to organize the event via his Blackberry.
While this was the first water fight flash mob to be held in the Old Market, flash mobs themselves have become somewhat of a common event throughout the city. A group of individuals put on an impressive and energetic performance to Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me” outside of TD Ameritrade Park during the 2011 College World Series. Others have put on entertaining performances at Westroads Mall, Fat Brain Toys stores and even at an NP Dodge Real Estate Awards Ceremony.