If you’re staying in town this weekend and plan to see the fireworks over Lake Union this Independence Day, here’s a primer on all things fireworks. For even more information, see the Family 4th site.
The Big Event: Family 4th at Gas Works Park
One Reel’s Family 4th event begins at noon at Gas Works Park. The free festival will attract tens of thousands of merrymakers and feature kite making and flying, face painting, climbing walls, a giant inflatable slide and obstacle course, a bungee trampoline platform, and more activities.
Wallingford businesses Not a Number, Trophy Cupcakes, and Fuerte Fitness will entertain with a game show, cake walk, and inflatable sumo wrestling (in that order, yes).
Beloved Seattle band Presidents of the United States of America are slated to play before and after the fireworks.
The fireworks show itself will begin around 10 p.m. Preparations have begun:
There will be two entrances to the park open on July 4: one on the north end of the parking lot and the other to the south.
Leave these items at home — they won’t be permitted into Gas Works Park during Family 4th:
- Personal barbecues (There are barbecues available on site.)
- Alcoholic beverages (You may purchase beer and wine in the beer garden with proper ID.)
- No staking the parks grounds (i.e. no tent stakes)
- Weapons of any sort—firearms, knives, etc.
Unless you live, work or can prove you need to be in the area, the streets around Gas Works Park will be off limits beginning at noon on Sunday.
The streets of Wallingford get clogged before the fireworks and traffic moves at a glacial pace for a couple of hours after the last explosion.
One Reel strongly suggests you walk or bike to the fireworks show — they’ll set up an express access bike entrance on the northwest side of the park and offer a dedicated bike parking area inside. You should plan on a very long wait for the buses after the fireworks too.
Where Else to Watch
Most areas ringing Lake Union provide good views of the fireworks. One popular spot, Lake Union Park on South Lake Union, will be closed for fireworks viewing this year (it accommodated 2000 last year).
Prefer the comfort of your home? Unless you have a view of Lake Union, turn on KING 5 to see the show.
Want to listen to music synchronized to the display? Tune in to 97.3 KIRO FM during the fireworks.
The Day After
We’ve never been to Gas Works Park on the morning of July 5, but can imagine it’s not a pretty sight. Starbucks, which donated $125,000 to the fireworks this year, is organizing the 5th of July Lake Union Cleanup:
In the spirit of keeping our neighborhoods clean and healthy and thanking our Lake Union neighbors for their hospitality, Starbucks is inviting community at large to join their partners (employees) to come out for a day of service to re-beautify the area.
Starbucks will not only coordinate the cleanup efforts on land, but will also sponsor the cleanup on Lake Union’s waters, which will be conducted by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.
Stay Safe (and Don’t Annoy Your Neighbors)
Lastly, a safety reminder from the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department:
There are no legal fireworks in the City of Seattle.
The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. Each and every one of these incidents could have been prevented.
On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.
Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at (206) 625-5011.
Hope you have a happy 4th!