The Firehouse Hosts Its Colored Water Throwing Festival and Rain Dance Party on Saturday

Categories: Events
firehouse colored water festival.jpg
Flickr via bhanu102
A scene from the annual Holi Festival in India, which inspired this weekend's Colored Water Throwing Festival at The Firehouse.
The messy backyard area at The Firehouse is going to be even more colorful after this weekend. 

The outdoor patio and performance area at the downtown Phoenix art space, which is already covered with vibrant murals and graffiti, will get covered with an extra coat during the Colored Water Throwing Festival and Rain Dance Party on Saturday afternoon.

Artist Michael 23, who helps operate The Firehouse, says the energetic event will see participants dousing themselves and others with gobs of paint, liquid dyes, and colored water in an orgy of liquid liveliness. 

"The idea is that it's Arizona, it's the dead of summer, and there's a summer dread around this time of year about how the heat is never going to end," Michale 23 says. "This event allows people to celebrate the heat of the summer and yet exert some control over their personal temperatures."

Inspired by India's Holi and Thailand's Songkran annual festivals, which feature the ritual celebrations and people drenching each other with colored dust and water, the artists says that the celebration is a unique and fun way "to keep people cool."

"I've always found it to be a fun is throwing water at people," Michael 23 says. "It's fun and it helps chill everybody out."

The backyard of The Firehouse will be like a weird water park of sorts with sprinklers and fountains dispensing colored liquid made from natural dyes (including henna, turmeric, and beets). Squirt guns and water balloons will also be available as participants turn themselves and others into walking Jackson Pollock paintings. Michael 23 also asks people to wear white clothes "so the colors really show up."

Local bands and DJs are scheduled to perform and potluck meals will be served.

The Colored Water Throwing Festival and Rain Dance Party will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday at The Firehouse, 1015 North First Street. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

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