Second annual Big Splash Bash a soaking success

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Brett Innes, 6, of Pima, plays with his pizza floaty at the second annual Big Splash Bash.

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – The community came out in droves Saturday for an end of summer soiree at the Pima Fire Department’s second annual Big Splash Bash.

For the second year in a row, the band Half-Fast (now with Nathan Salas) had the crowd rockin’ and rollin’ for hours with its unique blend of tunes as the Pima Fire Department served up hamburgers and hotdogs as well as last year’s T-shirts at a discounted price.  The event was held at the Pima Pool and adjacent park.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Half-Fast musicians, from left, Nathan Salas and Mike Curtis rock out at the event.

“We enjoy doing this a lot,” said Half-Fast lead singer Vernon Batty. “This is a lot of fun, and the crowd was great.”

Attendees also got to check out vehicles from the area’s first responders, including the Pima Fire Department’s new fire truck, a LifeNet helicopter, and law enforcement vehicles from the Graham County Sheriff’s Office and Pima Police Department.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Pima’s new fire truck, which was the reason for the inaugural Big Splash Bash fundraiser, was on full display.

Sofia Rawls brought her children to the event and enjoyed the music while getting some dinner.

“It’s pretty nice,” she said. “It’s a great activity for the kids.”

While Mother Nature played nice, having the Pima Pool open for free still influenced a large number to get in one more swim before the end of the season. Smiles were rampant as children jumped and splashed with friends.

Brett Innes, 6, of Pima, brought a giant pizza floaty to play with at the pool and said his favorite part of the event was the swimming.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Stephanie Hoopes, right, jams out to the music as Angela Paull, tends to her child.

Organizer Lavan Taylor said he was pleased with how the evening progressed.

“It looks like they’re having a lot of fun,” Taylor said.

He told the Gila Herald that his favorite part of the event was “just seeing all the community come together and everybody enjoying this pretty nice weather right now.” 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Lavan Taylor mans the grill.

The Big Splash Bash’s aptly named competition came down to a serious battle in the various age groups, with Miles Taylor, 6, Milo Raley, 10, and R.J. Morales taking home the honors in the children’s age divisions. Morales had a stiff battle and had to jump three times before defeating Kamea Nelson, with Ambrosia Johnson finishing in third.

In the adult division, Pima firefighter Donny Solis was crowned champion after blowing up the pool with his jackknife off the high dive. While the youth competitors all received a pair of goggles or mask as prizes, Solis took home a cooler as the Big Splash Bash adult champion.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Kamea Nelson gets into canon ball formation to create her big splash.

All proceeds from the event’s sale items will benefit the Pima Fire Department’s recreation fund. 

To view a photo album of the event click here.