Aberdeen Founders Day celebration starts Friday evening

Parade, plays, vendors and live music all day Saturday

Aberdeen’s heritage will be on display during the fourth annual Founders Day celebration this weekend.

Founders Day, which officially falls on July 2, honors the birthday of Sam Benn, widely acknowledged as Aberdeen’s founding father.

The annual event is the brainchild of Bryan Little, who recommended it to the City Council in 2013 when he was chairman of Aberdeen’s Planning Commission. As the council began to consider his recommendation, Mayor Bill Simpson cut through the red tape and formally declared that July 2 would be known as Founders Day each year. The first celebration was held in 2014.

This year’s grand marshal is Aberdeen native Jeff Burlingame, a former reporter for The Daily World who became an award-winning author of books including biographies of Kurt Cobain, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John Lennon. He also has published books on the crew and passengers of the Titanic and the plight of the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

Here is the schedule of events:

Friday, June 30

5 p.m. Visit the graves of Aberdeen’s founding families at Fern Hill Cemetery.

6 p.m. Social at the Aberdeen Museum of History.

6:30 p.m. Murder-mystery dinner at the Aberdeen Museum of History, “A Felonious Founders Day Fundraiser.” Tickets are $40 and include dinner and the show. Purchase them at the museum, City Center Drug, GH Wine Sellars or the Tap Room. Dinner will include barbecue turkey meatloaf cupcakes topped with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh fruit kebabs, deluxe green salad, rolls, berry lemonade and a “rustic” berry tart.

Saturday, July 1

11 a.m. Parade from west to east on Market Street.

Noon to 4 p.m. — Vendors, activities including “dunk a candidate,” and performances on Broadway.

2 to 4:30 p.m. The Aberdeen Timberland Library will host “An Evening with Sam Benn,” a play written by state historian and longtime Daily World editor John Hughes and performed by Ernie Ingram.

6 to 10 p.m. Street Dance on Broadway, with a beer garden for people 21 and older. Local band Electric Eye will play from 6 to 8 p.m.

Road closures

The city has set these road closures for Saturday:

Market Street from Michigan to M, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Market Street from Michigan to G, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Broadway Street from First to Wishkah, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Broadway Street from Wishkah to Heron, 4 to 9 p.m.