Plenty of fun opportunities at Kent’s July 4 Splash

Brian Dye of Kent

Brian Dye of Kent

(Editor’s note: Schedule of events follows this story)

Anyone who just wants to have fun can find plenty of options at the 11th annual Fourth of July Splash Saturday at Kent’s Lake Meridian Park.

The activities and entertainment include music, jugglers, food, a classic car show, old-fashioned games, watermelon and pie-eating contests and of course, fireworks.

“It’s a fun community event that we like to do,” said Mark Hendrickson, Kent Parks cultural programs coordinator, of the city-sponsored event.

Dancers and musicians perform from noon to 9:30 p.m. on the Valley Medical Center stage. The fireworks show starts at 10 p.m.

Parking spaces fill up fast at the park.

But free shuttle buses, provided by the city, run approximately every 20 minutes to the park from parking lots at Kent Fire Station No. 75, 15635 S.E. 272nd St.; Kentwood High School, 25800 164th Ave. S.E.; and the 132nd Avenue Southeast Park and Ride lot. School buses will be rotated through the lots to pick up passengers.

“It’s a pretty fun experience,” Hendrickson said of the shuttle buses. “The Kent Police escort the buses after the fireworks so they can get through traffic faster.”

Juggler Rhys Thomas will be the master of ceremonies at the entertainment stage as well as perform his own show from 5-6 p.m. Thomas, who started juggling as a Seattle street performer, has opened for James Taylor, the Smothers Brothers, Leon Redbone and Weird Al Yankovich.

“He’s a funny guy,” Hendrickson said of Thomas, who also appeared last year at the Fourth of July Splash. “He’s real good with young audiences and adults.”

Sub-Motive, a blues, rock and alternative band from Kent, will play from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The band, which has been together for nine years, has played several times at the Fourth of July Splash. The group started playing in Kent when the three band members were still in high school.

“They’re very good and very entertaining,” Hendrickson said. “They play everything from rock covers to their own material.”

Seattle rock band Handful of Luvin’ plays from 8-9:30 p.m. as the final act before the fireworks, sponsored by Dollarwise.

“They have a lot of original material,” Hendrickson said. “They are a high-energy group and keep everyone entertained.”

City officials dropped the Rainier Symphony from the lineup this year because of budget cutbacks. The symphony played for about an hour before the fireworks as well as during the fireworks display. Taped music might be used this year during the fireworks, Hendrickson said.

Event organizers added a classic car show this year from noon to 4 p.m. About 30 cars will be displayed on the grass berm at the park. Residents can vote for their favorite car to receive a People’s Choice award.

“It looks neat when you see the cars on the hill off of Kent-Kangley Road,” Hendrickson said.

The watermelon and pie-eating contests continue to be popular with residents.

“Those are now one of our anchor events,” Hendrickson said.

Fourth of July Splash at Lake Meridian Park

WHAT: Fourth of July Splash

WHEN: Noon to 11 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Lake Meridian Park, 14800 S. E. 272nd St.

COST: Free

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

Noon-12:30 p.m. – Allegro Precision Dance Company

12:45- 1:15 p.m. – Jim Abernethy, singer

1:30-2 p.m. – Spotlight Dance Company

2:15-2:45 p.m. – Sealth, alternative and grunge band

3- 4 p.m. – Pie and watermelon eating contests

4:15- 4:45 p.m. – Zhane Juniea, solo vocalist

5-6 p.m. – Rhys Thomas, juggler

6:30-7:30 p.m. – Sub-Motive, rock band

8-9:30 p.m. – Handful of Luvin’, rock band

10 p.m. – fireworks display

For more information on the Fourth of July Splash, go to www.ci.kent.wa.us/arts or call 253-856-5050


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
SeaTac man sentenced to life in 2021 Des Moines triple murder

Jury convicted Joshua Puloka in May of shootings outside of sports bar

t
Tacoma woman, 18, faces vehicular assault charge after Kent crash

Reportedly had been drinking; female passenger, 18, in her vehicle suffers injuries

Cristopher Ruvalcaba (Court documents.)
Two Auburn men sentenced in murder of Kent man at Southcenter Mall

Chris Wesolowicz was shot in a carjacking incident on Nov. 18, 2022.

t
Asylum seekers again ask for former Kent Econo Lodge to be reopened

Several testify at Kent City Council meeting; but King County has no plans to open hotel

Volunteers enjoy the sunshine at Renton’s 2024 Juneteenth Celebration. The weather will be sunny this weekend as summer officially starts. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
Summer kicks off with 80-degree weekend weather

Puget Sound region weather forecast for June 21-23.

t
Most Kent crime numbers declining so far in 2024 compared to 2023

Homicides, robberies, vehicle thefts, residential burglaries fewer in first 5 months

t
Kent Police chief says they have ‘strong leads’ in student’s fatal shooting

Rafael Padilla ‘cautiously optimistic’ detectives will solve who shot Kent-Meridian High student

t
Latter-day Saints make large food donation to Kent, Renton groups

Semi delivers shipment for Kent Food Bank, John Volken Academy and two local churches

t
Police arrest Kentridge High student who reportedly had gun on campus | Update

17-year-old boy under investigation for unlawful possession of a firearm and fourth-degree assault

t
Juneteenth flag goes up at Kent City Hall

Mayor Dana Ralph and Gwen Allen-Carston raise the flag for June 19

t
State Patrol honors 7 Kent Police Department members in trooper shooting

Officers helped save the life of Trooper Seaburg in February incident; detectives built case

t
Police arrest Kent boy, 16, for vehicular assault after 3-car collision

Teen and three others injured, two critically; boy reportedly stole vehicle prior to June 17 crash on East Hill