The 4th of July in Wallingford!
In the summer of 1994, on July 4th, I rolled into Seattle for the very first time. I pulled over to the side of the road near Gasworks Park and watched the fireworks while sitting on the hood of my car. The fireworks, the lake, the space needle in the background – I was hooked. I moved to Seattle that December. I have been a resident of the Wallingford area since 1995, and the 4th of July on Lake Union still holds a special place in my heart.
I have spent most of those 4th’s in a lawn chair with amazing friends and neighbors out on Wallingford Avenue, our own amphitheater to the display. There is something so fun about when the road closes, the traffic is gone, neighbors smiling, kids playing, the anticipation in the air for the fireworks and the sound of the Chinook helicopter circling the lake ushering in the show. There have been years that the air was crystal clear and the fireworks display was brilliant and crisp. There were the years that the main event has been hidden behind the clouds that light up with color when the fireworks glare. And there was the year that there was a possibility of no fireworks. It has been the friends and family on the 4th that made every year better than the last.
In past years I have looked to Wallyhood to inform me of the happenings on the 4th of July. This year I have joined the Wallyhood team, and thought I would gather what I could to share with you about the events at this years Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Summer 4th.
Gasworks opens at noon and is hosting some fun local bands throughout the day and games for the family.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seafair Summer 4th Main Stage Schedule of Events
12 pm Gates open at Gasworks for food booth, performers, games
Noon -1:30 pm The Toucans Steel Drum Band
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm All American Games
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Heather Thomas
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm All American Games
3:30 pm – 4:15 pm Brotha’ Groove
4:15 pm – 4:45 pm All American Games
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm ParisAlexa (City of Music @ Seafair Music Ambassador)
6:15 pm –7:30 pm Smokey Brights
8:00 pm – 9:15 pm Pickwick
Parking and street restrictions
Unlike that night in 1994, when I was able to pull into the neighborhood and snag a spot to watch the fireworks, the whole city seems to start to join us in our corner of the world and parking gets snatched up early. These days, I sit on my porch with a cup of coffee on the morning of the 4th and watch people circling for parking, walking with kids, coolers and chairs down to the park.
The restrictions on the movement of traffic into the area north of Gasworks begins at noon. The restrictions are to ensure that emergency vehicles, and home/business owners are able to access the community during the celebrations. The areas will not be open to people seeking parking for the fireworks display.
SCCA Seafair Summer 4th Community Information
Street closures are going from Stone Way North to 6th Ave North East and Northlake Way to North 40th Street
Between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 6:00 p.m. home and business owners will be able to enter and leave the area through designated access points, including:
- Stone Way Avenue North & North Northlake Way
- North 34th Street & Stone Way Avenue North
- North 35th Street & Interlake Avenue North
- North 35th Street & Pacific Avenue North
- North 36th Street & North Northlake Way
- North 38th Street & Sunnyside Avenue North
- North 38th Street & Interlake Avenue North
- North 39th Street & Ashworth Avenue North
- North 39th Street & Woodlawn Avenue North
- North 39th Street & Wallingford Avenue North
- North 39th Street & Meridian Avenue North
- North 39th Street & Corliss Avenue North
Each of these locations will have a police officer assigned to it, screening entry into the area, ensuring that only residents and businesses are given access.
One of the best parts of the night is watching all the folks who have joined us in our neighborhood make their way up from Gasworks. So many smiling faces. But the crowds do tend to leave a mess, and I usually spend some time on the morning of the 5th cleaning up the sidewalks out front.
On July 5th, Seafair works with the Seattle Parks Department, Puget Soundkeepers Alliance and volunteers in the cleanup of Lake Union, Gas Works Park, South Lake Union Park and surrounding streets on July 5th. If you want to volunteer, you can find information on the Puget Soundkeeper website.
Maybe I will see you out there this year! Happy 4th!
I hate what the 4th has become in Wallingford. The holiday epitomizes what is happening to our neighborhood. Outsiders flood in and behave in ways which are not in character with the social norms of our community. Our course, this happens every day but on the 4th this is more obvious than every other day.
We must do something about this. We must stop outsiders coming into Wallingford on the 4th to enjoy what should be exclusive ours. This is our neighborhood, not everyone’s. These interlopers don’t share our values of homogeneity and exclusiveness. They come to enjoy themselves, not to wallow in the petty burdens of being forced to share a plane with others.
I know some people want to attract these visitors to our Wallingford for commercial reasons. Lemonade stands and other unlicensed business who don’t even pay a B&O tax or minimum wage want to make a quick buck selling our lifestyle. Well I ask, what if these visitors stay? What then? More condos?
And the parking! What about the parking? Despite what Len and others will tells us, they won’t all arrive on bicycles, naked or otherwise. These ravers and hedonists who stay all day at Gasworks will park their cars in front of single family residences, ruining the quality of life for all who live here, especially homeowners. What if I want to drive up Wallingford Ave to pop into Bartells on the 4th?
This 4th celebration at Gasworks is un-American. We shouldn’t be forced to share our neighborhood with anyone, even for one day.
Whom exactly are you satirizing here, Ben?
Real nice gob of verbal pus you’ve produced in response to a civil, informative, and neighborly post.
Way to show your true colors, “Welcoming Wallingford”
Really Ben? Even by Seattle For Everyone standards this is lame
Thank you so much for this post! I LOVE that we live in this neighborhood and can walk down to Gas Works in the early afternoon before it gets too crowded and then walk back and watch the fireworks from our deck. I love that my kids can have a Lemonade stand and have a pretty good shot of earning some money!! I love this neighborhood!