“Save Splash, Call City Hall” that’s the message on the reader board in front of the Splash Festival’s biggest private sponsor, Rich Hartman’s Five Star Dealership in South Aberdeen. Some city council members suggested the idea at a budget workshop last week to not spend the $20-thousand for the July 4th event from the city’s general fund. The discussion turned to using Lodging Tax funds which are spent on local events, but would wipe out the LTAC budget for many others.
While Mayor Bill Simpson’s proposed budget includes the expense, the issue will carry over into the new mayor’s term beginning next year. The new mayor will be determined by the November General Election next month.
The Splash Festival began in 1913 on the other side of Myrtle street with a parade through Hoquiam, an obstacle course, river boat races, and log rolling. The 1914 event held in Aberdeen also featured a balloon parachuter that launched from the old Elks Building.
The paired down version we see today was revitalized by local businesses some 15 years ago. Rich Hartman said that the event has been a huge success over the years, guessing that it brings in around 10 to 12-thousand annual visitors for the 4th of July.
City council will discuss funding of the event at tonight’s meeting which begins at 7:15 p.m. and is held on the third floor of City Hall, the public is welcome to attend.