Plenty to see and do on the 4th

Hosting a Fourth of July party is always fun, but with this year’s holiday falling in midweek, the idea of cleaning up all the leftovers and mess, with a work day following, can be a burdensome option.

With that in mind, you may want to let somebody else throw your party while you just sit around and enjoy the food, fun and fireworks before heading home for bed at a relatively decent hour.

This year, there are two free options for all-day fun, the annual Five Star Dealerships Splash Festival at Morrison Riverfront Park in Aberdeen and the Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration at the Westport’s Maritime Museum in the town’s marina district.

Splash Festival

Splash 2012 kicks off at 2 p.m. and runs until the fireworks end around 10:15 p.m.

Along with an array of food and craft vendors, there will be free inflatable attractions and games for kids, including a Pipeline dual-lane slide and an Xtreme Rush obstacle course. There will also be a rock-climbing wall.

There will be music and entertainment throughout the day spread across two stages.

One the Five Star stage, the classic rock band Tude will open the show at 2 p.m., country band Aces Up will follow at 4 p.m. followed by local band Joe Ty and the Black Top Boys at 6:45 p.m. The final act of the night is Rolling Stones tribute act Midnight Rambler, which will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, at the Log Pavilion Plaza stage, one-man sideshow Louie Fox will open the day’s acts at 3 p.m. followed by Hula Hoop expert Dizzy Hips at 4:30 p.m. The comedy and magic of Nate Jester will be on stage at 6 p.m., followed by local musician Vaughn Johannes at 7:30 p.m.

For those who wish to mix a bit of cooling water with mischievous mayhem, the first 100 people over the age of 12 to sign up can participate in a water balloon toss for prizes at 6 p.m. Youths must sign up at the Grays Harbor Radio booth by 5:30 p.m. to participate.

The day will be topped off by fireworks over the Chehalis River at 10 p.m.

Old-Fashioned Fourth

Harbor residents who fondly remember those good, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebrations should head to the coast to Westport’s Maritime Museum today. Festivities run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy a day full of clowns, games, face painting, arts and craft vendors, a plant sale, silent auction, ongoing raffle prizes and a cake walk. The menu includes coffee shop bakery, hot dogs, gourmet sausages, root beer floats and traditional strawberry shortcake with whipped cream.

The gazebo stage will feature musicians and local talent performances. A children’s game arcade and croquet tournament will run all day long at the former Coast Guard Lifeboat Station.

The 4th will also mark the opening of a special exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of the “War of 1812.”

The Maritime Museum is located in Westport’s Marina District. The museum will be open with admission $5 for adults and $2 for children under age 12. There is no charge for admission onto the grounds and access to the events.

For those who want to spend the entire day in Westport, at 10 p.m. a 30-minute fireworks show will light up the sky over the marina.

David Haerle, a Daily World writer, can be reached at 537-3928, or by email at