Despite arson, Kent’s 4th of July Splash will go on

Despite an early morning arson fire at Lake Meridian Park on SE 272nd, Mayor Dana Ralph announced Thursday, June 28 that “the show must go on” – and the city’s 4th of July Splash will not be cancelled.

The fire severely damaged the newly-remodeled restroom/lifeguard building and drinking fountains, but the Kent Parks staff is working hard to get the park ready for Fourth of July Splash, a popular summer celebration.

For the time being, Lake Meridian Park will not have lifeguards on staff, and the city will bring in portable restrooms to temporarily replace the park’s restrooms for Splash on July 4 and the summer concert series which begins July 12. The city does not have an estimate for when services will be fully restored.

Thanks to the quick action of Puget Sound Fire, no other damage was done to the park. The beach, docks, boat launch, shelters and playground are all intact and fully operational for the public’s enjoyment this summer. Puget Sound Fire confirmed the cause of the fire was arson, and they are investigating the incident.

The fun begins at Noon next Wednesday, July 4, and will include food booths, bouncy houses, giant Jenga, games, photo booth, pie-eating contest, T-Bird puck and shoot, Republic Services’ recycling activity, and live music and entertainment. This great day of family fun ends with a spectacular fireworks finale around 10:15 p.m.

“We are disappointed that someone would deliberately destroy a park structure, but we aren’t going to let one person ruin our fun,” said Mayor Dana Ralph. “Thousands of residents look forward to the Fourth of July Splash each year, and we are going to make sure it is a fabulous day for local families to celebrate our country’s independence!”