Aberdeen Founders Day to take place July 6

Two days after America celebrates its birth, Aberdonians will celebrate the city’s roots with a spirited series of fun events that celebrate the city’s past, its founder Sam Benn and other noteworthy people.

Beyond Grays Harbor, a 501(c)3 organization, will host Aberdeen’s Founders Day on Saturday, July 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a Beyond Grays Harbor news release.

This year’s event will honor many important individuals who have helped shape Aberdeen through its last 140 years, including Benn, James and Jean Stewart, A.J. West, George W. Hume, and J.M. Weatherwax, for whom Aberdeen High School is known.

According to Beyond Grays Harbor, those folks’ “visions and leadership laid the foundation for our community. We invite all residents and visitors to join us in commemorating Aberdeen’s 140 years of history, culture, and community.”

The festive day happens in Downtown Aberdeen with a parade that starts at 11 a.m. on Market Street, where the popular 94.7 radio host Johnny Manson will serve as the master of ceremonies.

“(He’ll guide) attendees through a day filled with entertainment and community spirit,” the news release states. “Mr. Manson is celebrated for his extensive career in radio and his unwavering dedication to the Grays Harbor community. He has hosted numerous events, contributing over 10,000 hours of service. We also wish to acknowledge his significant role as one of the founders of the Aberdeen Star Walk of Fame, a cherished landmark in Aberdeen.”

While the parade starts the event and has been a real spectacle since Founders Day started, it isn’t the only point worth scheduling for. The festival itself follows the parade and will last until 4 p.m.

“The festival will offer a variety of activities and attractions for all ages, including live music, food vendors, artisan crafts and family-friendly games,” the release states. “The Founders Day Festival not only celebrates Aberdeen’s rich history but also its vibrant present and promising future.”

Aberdeen Walk of Fame star

In addition to the parade and festival, Darrell Westmoreland, a music photographer who first put his stamp on Grays Harbor long ago, will receive an Aberdeen Walk of Fame star that day as well. The announcement was made on Tuesday morning on Manson’s show.

“We’re excited to announce Darrell Westmoreland will be receiving this year’s star on the walk of fame,” the release states. “Darrell is a cherished figure in our community, and will receive a star in recognition of his dedicated involvement in our community and his significant success in his field of music photography. The city is dedicated to continuing this legacy and the residents couldn’t be luckier to have them be the pillar of this project.”

Founders Day will also show “our respect to the Chehalis, Shoalwater Bay and Quinault Indian Nations, the original caretakers of this land.”

“We acknowledge that Aberdeen is situated on the ancestral lands of these tribes, the earliest residents who have been stewards of this land for time immemorial,” the release states.

The day wouldn’t be complete without allowing people to vote on the “People’s Choice Parade Float.” People get quite creative with their designs and it’s a popular part of Founders Day.

For updates, visit the official Facebook pages for Beyond Grays Harbor and Aberdeen’s Founders Day Parade.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.