Updated: For more than two decades, Gasworks Park was the place to watch an incredible Independence Day fireworks show. Today, One Reel, the company who produces the event announced that there will be no Family 4th and Lake Union this year. Tomoko Moriguchi Matsuno, president of the One Reel Board of Directors, wrote this letter on Chasefamily4th.org.
Since 1988, One Reel, the Seattle not-for-profit arts organization of which I am Board President, has been proud to produce the cherished Independence Day celebration and fireworks show, the Family 4th at Lake Union. This day of free family entertainment and a dazzling fireworks display has been, for more than two decades, an important time for us to come together as a community and celebrate this great country.
As a non-profit organization, One Reel’s core mission is to produce arts and cultural events that engage and enrich our community, but we cannot do it alone. You may not realize this free civic celebration has been an annual gift to Seattle made possible only through the generosity of a corporate sponsor who underwrites the cost of the event. One Reel wishes to extend a very special thank you to the sponsors we’ve been fortunate to work with over the years, including Fratelli’s, Cellular One, AT&T, WaMu and Chase.
For the past 15 months, One Reel has worked tirelessly to secure a title sponsor for the 2010 Family 4th at Lake Union but, regrettably, we were not able to secure one in time to proceed with this year’s event. For that reason, it is with a heavy heart we announce there will be no fireworks or festivities at Gas Works Park this year.
We understand the disappointment you must feel; we feel it too. However, I can assure you that One Reel is already hard at work searching for a new title sponsor who shares our commitment to presenting this beloved community event in Seattle next year, and long into the future. As always, One Reel remains dedicated to providing you with premier events—from the Family 4th at Lake Union, to Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival, to Teatro ZinZanni—that showcase the talent, artistic diversity and integrity of our great city.
Thank you, Seattle, for your ongoing support. We’d like to thank everyone—from our generous past title sponsors, to the City of Seattle, to event suppliers and on-site vendors, to more than 5 million patriotic revelers over the last 20 years—all of whom have made this event such an iconic holiday tradition.
We look forward to seeing you next year at Gas Works Park for the Family 4th at Lake Union.
Tomoko Moriguchi Matsuno
President and CEO Uwajimaya Inc.
President, One Reel Board of Directors
Wallingford Community Council president Mary Heim told us, “I’m not that surprised with the economic conditions as they are. I think it’s a shame, but last year Ivar’s cancelled their show [on Elliott Bay] and put the money toward food security issues; how can you argue with that?”
She added that she’s concerned people will buy fireworks and shoot them off in backyards and parks if they have nowhere to see fireworks.
Wallingford Chamber of Commerce president Kara Ceriello was more emotional: “What the hell? I live in a city that had two major fireworks and now nothing, not even something small.” She put out the suggestion that Paul Allen’s company sponsor a fireworks show on South Lake Union and call it the Vulcan Family 4th.
Ceriello also was concerned about people buying illegal fireworks and creating their own show. “Do you know how busy the police will be chasing down everyone’s illegal fireworks?” she said. “This is lame and ridiculous.”
April fools I hope?
Wamu did that thing forever and now Chase pulls out after one year. Real community spirit there Chase. I am closing my account and going to BECU or someplace local.
Hello Vulcan? You're acting like the kings of Lake Union. Put your money where you're mouthes are.
Hmmm… illegal fireworks.
Makes me pause & reflect on the reasons why that illegal rebellion that took shape in 1776.
Why does Kara Ceriello sound like a bratty, entitled 13-year old? “Lame and ridiculous?” Give me a break.
and aren't the people in wallingford, especially the wallingford chamber of commerce and ms. ceriello, the ones who were crying foul in the media… screaming bloody murder that there was ONLY ONE fireworks display, and this terrible fact was going to cause panic and hysteria in their neighborhood, and everyone should just stay away? i think the seattle times headline was “going to gas works park? good luck.” i guess wallingford and the times finally got their wish — and everyone will now stay away.
The Wallingford Council actively fought the producers of EVERY Family Fourth event, using a series of outrageous tactics to extort concessions from the producers and the city. Her self serving comment say it all. The subtext of her comment is”don't we have better things to worry about” like food security…..
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