By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
Somerset’s Independence Day tradition is upon us again.
This year’s SomerBlast event — being held for the fourth year in a row at SomerSplash Waterpark on Ky. 2227 — is scheduled for Saturday, July 6.
The city-funded event normally draws thousands to the park, which features a wave pool, a lazy river, several water slides and even a child’s play area. The influx of visitors is so massive that the city provides bus transportation from overflow parking lots at nearby Northern Middle School, Pulaski Elementary School and Pulaski County High School.
“Parking there is very safe and convenient,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler.
Buses will run from 4 p.m. Saturday to midnight.
Girdler said ongoing resurfacing and repair work to a few of the park’s attractions is still continuing, but he said they anticipate the work will be done by this upcoming weekend.
“We’ve been assured the work will be finished,” said Girdler.
The issue arose when May 25, the opening weekend for the summer season at SomerSplash, came and went and the project hadn’t been completed. The focus of the work was on the lazy river, but that has also led to the speed slide, bowl slide, and tube slide being shut down because water from those slides feed directly into the lazy river.
But despite the delays, city officials are expecting the park to be back to top form by the time SomerBlast rolls around.
“We anticipate the park will be fully operational by SomerBlast,” said Girdler.
The park will open at 10 a.m. that Saturday, and guests will be admitted for regular park prices up until 4 p.m. A daily “Ride-N-Slide” pass is $14.95, and a “Half Splash” pass is $12.95. Season passes are $69.95.
The admission will drop down to $10 plus tax after 4 p.m., and visitors can expect to see a rousing fireworks show at around 10 p.m. Girdler said the city has opted to retain the same company for this year’s show that carried out the display last year.
The city appropriates around $30,000 for the fireworks show, which brought rave reviews from visitors and city officials alike after SomerBlast 2012.
“The best fireworks display I believe we’ve had ... beautiful,” said former councilor Mark Beasley in a city council meeting following last year’s SomerBlast.
Other councilors agreed.
“SomerBlast went over good,” said Councilor Mike New during the same council meeting. “A lot of people there. Probably more than there ever have been.”
Girdler said he’s expecting this year’s fireworks display to be on par with 2012.
“It was a fantastic fireworks show and we anticipate it will be as good this year or better,” said Girdler.
SomerSplash will stay open until midnight Sunday.
There is no admission fee for activities on the front lawn of SomerSplash. Events included on the front lawn will include performances from regional bands.
Coolers and lawn chairs are only permitted in the front lawn outside the actual park.