A year later: Unity out of Water Wars
Just about a year ago, a neighborhood water fight turned into people spraying police with water guns and blocking traffic.
Social media brought backlash to an East Lubbock neighborhood, but instead of accepting the criticism, the group East Side Unity is making sure this year, water wars is about community.
Stephens Sanders, with East Side Unity, said the group's been working alongside Lubbock police.
"Earlier, I spoke with Unit Supervisor Mike Sandoval. They're going to be patrolling tomorrow, making sure that everybody's safe," Sanders said.
The event originally began as a way to unify a divided neighborhood, Sanders said.
"There were some deaths and stuff in our community," he said, "and we just wanted to give people a way to kind of release that."
The group hopes to return to those peaceful roots, organizer Jay Shaw said.
"That's something I think that our neighborhood needs," Shaw said. "We just saw unity and love in our neighborhood. We hadn't seen that in a while."
The event is community-funded, Shaw said, and it is not limited to East Lubbock.
"All of Lubbock, north, east, south, west, northeast, just anything, just come out and have fun with us," he said.
LPD and EMS will be there to ensure everyone is safe, and Shaw said they will be joining in.
"They will be participating, and they're going to get some balloons thrown at them, and they'll be ready to wet us," Shaw said.
The water wars begin tomorrow afternoon at Woods Park. More information is available on the event's Facebook page.
In a statement, Lubbock police reported command staff has been talking constantly with the organizers. They said it is common, and they will work with any big event, demonstration or protest.