The City of Seattle is definitely the place to be for all things summer. When it comes to Independence Day, it will be worth your while to shop around and hit the best places to celebrate and watch fireworks on this fun holiday. Most 4th of July celebrations in the area are designed with the option of all-day fun or just a night-time show.
Family 4th at Lake Union
Gas Works Park
2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
Price: free (suggested donation to Northwest Harvest)
Hours: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Seeing this firework showing isn’t a problem, but getting to the festivities could be. There is limited parking outside of the park, but new this year, Zip Car will provide continuous free shuttles between Gas Works and Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave. North) throughout the day. During the day, Gas Works Park will feature live music, a playfield and a beer garden with trivia. Guests are invited to bring their own picnic fare (barbecues are not allowed) or choose from a variety of vendors on site. Over at Lake Union, the 36th Annual Wooden Boat Festival will take place along with live music. The fireworks display will last for approximately 21 minutes, featuring an all-new musical line up which can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM.
Kent’s Fourth of July Splash
Lake Meridian Park
14800 SE 272nd St.
Kent, WA 98030
Hours: July 4 – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The city of Kent is providing a full day of festive fun beginning at 12 p.m. this 4th of July. You and your family may enjoy live music, games, activities and art projects including wooden toy boat building, T-bird puck and shoot, bouncy houses, food booths and a pie-eating contest. Then, pick a spot on the lawn and prepare for a beautiful show in the sky at 10 p.m. Shuttle service is provided from the Kent Fire Station, Kentwood High School and Meridian Elementary. Shuttle buses will make runs every 20 minutes. Parking at Lake Meridian is by permit only.
Tacoma Freedom Fair
Ruston Way Waterfront
N. Waterfront Dr.
Tacoma, WA 98407
Price: $2 to $15 suggested donation
Hours: July 4 – 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
For more than 30 years, the Tacoma Events Commission has put together this big event all along the Ruston Way waterfront as one of the south sound’s largest events. During the day, it features an air show, vendors, food booths, exhibits and rides. Then at 10:10 p.m. the day ends with the the northwest’s biggest fireworks show over Puget Sound. Set up a picnic tent in the picnic zone, which is near all of the day’s activities. Taking the bus from the Tacoma Dome Station or the TCC Park and Ride will be your best bet for getting to and from the event site. Enjoy a free bottle of Metromint naturally flavored water with any donation of $2 or more.
July 4 Colors of Everett
Legion Memorial Park
145 Alverson Blvd.
Everett, WA 98201
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The City of Everett’s Independence Day starts with a Colors of Freedom Parade down Colby and Wetmore avenues in downtown. This large parade begins at 11 a.m. and features world-class marching bands, giant puppets, stilt walkers, dance and drill teams and clowns. Then at 1 p.m., head on over to Legion Memorial Park for the Colors of Freedom Festival. Pack a picnic lunch or purchase food from the food fair. Enjoy free kids’ activities, music and a stunning view of Port Gardner Bay. The Thunder on the Bay Fireworks show begins at 10:20 p.m. No parking will be available at the park. However, free transportation will be provided to and from the Everett Station park and ride all day.
An Edmonds Kind of Fourth of July
6th and Bell streets
Edmonds, WA 98020
Price: free/$15 to $20 fun run pre-registration
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The City of Edmonds has a full day planned for July 4 as well, including a fun run that begins at 10 a.m. at Edmonds City Park. Other events include a children’s parade that begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the main parade at 12 p.m. The Edmonds Firefighters Waterball Competition will be held at 2:30 p.m. at City Park, evening entertainment will be on hand at 7:30 p.m. and the big fireworks show will begin at 10 p.m.
Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July
25 Lake Ave. W.
Kirkland, WA 98033
Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Kirkland Arts Center and Celebrate Kirkland will host a full day of fun and activities down at the waterfront beginning with a Decorate to Celebrate event for kids at 10 a.m. Come by for temporary tattoos, flags and pinwheels. Then, your children may us their decorations in the Children’s Parade at 11:30 a.m. At 12 p.m., the Old Fashioned Downtown Parade will start at Market and Central. For the afternoon, join your friends at the park for a picnic lunch or partake at one of the vendors onsite. Live music starts at 3 p.m., and the annual Duck Dash begins at 4 p.m. Just before dusk, at 9 p.m., live music will begin at the pavilion and the Fantastic Fireworks Display will begin at 10:15 p.m.
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Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.