BELLINGHAM - John Overly plunked down five bucks for his shot at the dunk tank.
Overly, who sports a thick brownish beard, smoked a filtered cigarette as he pumped in fastballs, but a perfect strike proved elusive.
So music columnist Carey Ross, of Cascadia Weekly, stayed dry for another minute or two.
"Oh, she'll get hers," Overly said.
The dunk tank featuring Bellingham celebrities - Bellebrities, for short - was one of a handful of carnival-like attractions at the Make.Shift Block Party on Saturday, July 28.
It's been about a year since the nonprofit Make.Shift took over the yellow building at 306 Flora St. Part of the mission is to give artists, bands and creative types a nice place to be messy.
"I've got a couple pieces hanging up inside," said Overly, who runs Vessel Screenprinting. "It's the two guys. With the beards."
Through Saturday afternoon, a block of Flora Street was overtaken by local bands rocking out on an outdoor stage and a crowd of a few hundred mulling around the block. Dudes scarfed down tortas from Taco del Mexicano and curly fries from Kurly's food cart.
Chris Nunn, with his band The Movie, played ripping guitar solos on a Gibson SG. He plays folky, bluesy rock. The music scene around here, he said, has been "really supportive and not cliquey."
"You'd think it'd be kind of hipster, reluctant to get into jam band Americana," Nunn said, before professing his love for The Byrds' "Sweetheart of the Rodeo." "I've played a lot of places where everyone's in all black."
It was warm on Saturday, in the 70s, and women in bright sundresses sipped Pabst Blue Ribbon from plastic cups in the shade of the beer garden.
The "Slip 'N Slide O' Doom" lived up to the hype, with a long line waiting to glide on their bellies into Make.Shift's basement.
Django Bohren, who wore short shorts and knee-high green socks adorned with koi fish, was reluctant to try it.
"With these shorts, I'm scared to lay on my stomach," Bohren said.
Instead he watched scraggly metal guitarists with beards and sleeveless shirts play in a three-on-three band vs. band basketball tournament.
At 4:30 p.m. it was the "jock band vs. the tall band," as he put it.
Cat Sieh, director of Make.Shift, said she wants the block party to be an annual event. She didn't have a target for their fundraiser - the entry fee was a suggested donation of $5 to $10 - but felt pretty confident they'd at least break even.
That'll help the nonprofit continue to improve its building, provide a colorful van for touring bands and host shows for artists and musicians.
"I feel like this event kind of encapsulates the wild spirit of Make.Shift," Sieh said.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2276.