Planning for the Fourth

Wednesday is the busiest day of the year for Wallingford, the Fourth of July. If you’re wondering about specific details (what time the fireworks start, can you bring beer into Gas Works, what station carries the simulcast, etc.) head on over to and read up.

One interesting note is that this year there are activities all around the lake, including a stage with music at the south end of the lake in Lake Union Park and the MOHAI Cheshiahud Challenge, a trivia challenge that will take you on a full circuit of the lake. This should take a bit of the pressure off our little neighborhood, it’s much appreciated. There’s even a free shuttle running throughout the day between Gas Works and Lake Union Parks, compliments of Zipcar.

Personally, the fireworks themeslves don’t do much for us, but we do adore the Fourth. Here’s a smattering of enjoyments:

  • Hopping on a bicycle and cruising between BBQ’s and parties throughout the day. Being “Wallyhood”, we get to stop at the BBQ’s of perfect strangers, where we declare we’re “reporting” and make new friends. Having a 3 yr old in tow when pulling this maneuver removes all hesitation from the strangers. Walking up Wallingford Ave just prior to the fireworks, when all the sofas have been pulled into the middle of the street, is perfect for this.
  • People who dress in costume. Who says costumes are for Halloween?
  • Remember a few years ago when some folks set up a “Constitutional Quiz Booth” booth near their house, giving out prizes to passersby? Awesome. Last heard of that in 2009, but if that was you, you should do it again.
  • The frickin’ Constitution! I mean seriously, people, have you read that thing? Think of it: 236 years ago and those guys are staying up into the nights, arguing over what exactly to say in a document that would create a framework for governing a democracy that would last for at least 236 years! How do we ensure that the executive branch doesn’t devolve into a monarchy? How do we ensure that the parliament doesn’t end up gumming up the works with debate? How do we divide power between the central government and the states? How do you ensure that the document is sufficiently stable that it withstands the shifting tides of wandering sentiment, but flexible enough to evolve as the dominant ethos progresses? And they pull it off without a word processor, Google or Wikipedia!
You all have any suggestions for things to do or enjoy on the Fourth?
(PS The SPD asks that you do not call 911  on the 4th to report illegal fireworks, as their lines become overloaded. Only use 911 on that day to report life-threatening emergencies, or issues that require immeidate help from police, fire or medics.)
  1. common sense said,

    Starbucks is hosting a Gasworks cleanup the next morning.. 10-1.. need to register online on their site.
    Onereel was asking for volunteers fo rthe 4th.. need to register with their volunteer shiftboard.

    I would like to gather a few people together to do yoga at Gasworks about noon.. like a yoga flashmob. Contact me please.

    Mon, July 2 at 9:11 am
  2. DOUG. said,

    The Constitution was ratified in 1788, so it’s only 224 years old.

    However, 236 years ago today (and NOT on July 4) the Declaration of Independence was ratified. That document is really just a series of grievances and complaints, which makes it truly American.

    Also, fireworks are awesome.

    Mon, July 2 at 9:20 am
  3. neighbor said,

    So Festivus evolved in a sense from the Delcaration of Independence?

    Mon, July 2 at 9:27 am
  4. KimberlyC said,

    The constitution quiz folks were out last year. I won a free beer for answering a question, though admittedly it was an easy one. They were on Bagley, I think around 42nd. I won a budweiser, though I really thought it would be more fitting if it were a Sam Adams 😉

    Mon, July 2 at 1:18 pm
  5. Impalagrrl said,

    Yea, its all good if you’re not an Indian wtf white, white Wallingford.

    Mon, July 2 at 7:25 pm
  6. Andrew said,

    I will be setting off illegal fireworks in the Wallingford Playfield! Safely and not crazy ones and not too late. I’m not completely irresponsible!

    Mon, July 2 at 8:12 pm
  7. ashley's brain said,

    In Ashland, OR, they do a reading of the Declaration of Independence every 4th of July. I think that’s pretty cool. (I think a reading of the Constitution would be cooler, but also much longer.) I was thinking about that yesterday and had a half-formed idea about having small signs throughout the ‘hood with parts of the Declaration on each — something like the old Berma-Shave signs. Perhaps one year I’ll think more about it and get organized ahead of time.

    Meanwhile, I love the Constitution Quiz idea! And I agree with you Kimberly — Sam Adams would be great. (Maybe the quality of the prize is in relation to the difficulty of the question.)

    I love fireworks, but alas they terrify my dog. So I spend much of the late afternoon and night in her “safe room” with her (a.k.a. the bathroom), relaxing with her, reading out lout to her, and sharing Rice Chex. (She is mysteriously in love with them and it seems to help keep her distracted enough.) I’ve seen lots of fireworks and one day will again; meanwhile I’m fine with an evening spent with the pup & a giant box of corporate cereal once a year. :-)
    [Insert standard warning about keeping your pets inside on the 4th, since way too many get frighted and run off that day.]

    Mon, July 2 at 8:32 pm
  8. Jack said,

    Does anyone know the schedule or map of SPD street closures? There is no detail on the SPD site or family4th that I can find…

    Mon, July 2 at 9:39 pm
  9. Breadbaker said,

    Best I could find was “similar to last year’s”. That pretty much shuts everything south of 40th, though exactly by when I don’t know. Since we live on 40th, and our driveway is on the street, we never worry about the specifics.

    What is always fun for me is watching the cars that are looking for parking just north of 40th half an hour before the fireworks start. Optimists!

    Tue, July 3 at 12:29 am
  10. Wallygirl said,

    Several families on our block (separately) follow an annual tradition of a round-table group reading aloud of the Declaration – highly recommended, especially in an election year!

    Tue, July 3 at 11:46 am
  11. Quiz Master said,

    The Constitutional Quiz will celebrate it’s 14th year at 4323 Bagley! Come by, answer a Constitutional question and win an ice-cold American beer!

    Tue, July 3 at 1:09 pm
  12. Sean Niesel said,

    Emerald City Spirits:

    Hi everyone, we are a new liquor store in Wallingford Seattle and I wanted to invite you all to save for our 4th of July discount! Our address is 118 NE 45Th ST Seattle, WA 98105. Right across from Dicks on 45th! Come visit your new local family owned liquor store!

    We are open 12pm-6pm for the 4th of July! Like our Facebook page to receive 10% off your purchase on the 4th! Just tell your cashier you liked our page! It’s that easy! And who doesn’t need some party supplies for the 4th!

    Here is the link to Facebook


    Emerald City Spirits Team

    Tue, July 3 at 9:15 pm
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