Aberdeen Founders’ Day Parade adds events, wants volunteers

Organizers of the Aberdeen Founders’ Day Parade came to the Aberdeen City Council meeting Wednesday to ask for volunteers. And two more events have been added as a preamble to the parade which is June 28, the closest Saturday to the birthday of Sam Benn, the founding father of Aberdeen.

Both of the new events are on Friday, June 27. One is a 45-minute tour of the graves of founders at Fern Hill Cemetery at 5:30 p. m. and the other is a dinner at 7:30 p.m. for up to 150 people at the Aberdeen Museum of History which costs $25 and will be catered by O’Brien’s, said Karen Rowe.

The festivities on Saturday will also feature children’s activities, street dancing and music. Volunteers are needed to help set up, organize and strike the celebration, Rowe said.

Buttons with a drawing by an Aberdeen High School student commemorating the event will be sold for $5 as a fundraising tool, Jamie Judkins added. Judkins is working to find discounts for button buyers.

As an example, the button would earn the bearer a free $6 wine tasting during Founders’ Week at her establishment, Grays Harbor Wine Sellars on Broadway, Rowe said.

The parade which closed registration for participants on Wednesday, will run east on Market Street from M to G Street, Rowe said. “Community support has been unreal,” Rowe said. They have 14 sponsors so far, she added.

The parade will celebrate Aberdeen’s history and will feature the descendants of Sam Benn, who are the parade’s grand marshals. They will be feted at the dinner and have also donated $5o0, organizers said.

The parade is being organized by members of the community and is not a city event.

Besides being a great history lesson for young people, the parade will “help us with our self-esteem,” said Deb Blecha, one of the organizers.

Organizers were inspired to create the parade in the wake of a request last year by Planning Commission Chairman and Benn enthusiast Brian Little to make July 2 Founders’ Day. The city council made it so.

Eventually, organizers want to create a Founders’ Week of events that culminate in the city’s signature Splash festival on July 4th.

Vendors pay a fee from $50 to $100 for a booth. Sponsorship starts at $250, but the group, which has 501-C-3 tax deductible status through Aberdeen Revitalization Movement, will take donations in any amount.

For more information: mrsambenn@gmail.com. To register online: www.aberdeenfoundsday.org

To donate or register in person: See Rowe at Grays Harbor Wine Sellars, 206 S. Broadway, Aberdeen.

Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, ehart@thedailyworld.com, Twitter: @DW_Erin.


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