It’s that time of year again when our neighborhood plays host to forty thousand or so people hoping to get a close up view of the Lake Union fireworks display (organized by Seafair and sponsored by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, as it was last year) on Independence Day at Gas Works Park. While this only comes once a year, it definitely has some impacts. Knowing what’s going on can help you navigate some of the inconveniences posed by this event.We received here at the blog a Community Notification from Michael McMorrow, Event Producer at Seafair. Says he:
- Event hours are 11:00AM-11:00PM on 07/04/19.
- We will be loading in starting at 7:00AM on 07/03/19 and will load out 5:00PM on 07/05/19
- We will leave your neighborhood as we found it! Litter and recycling will be handled by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Parks and Recreation.
- During the event hours, we expect between 35,000 and 45,000 attendees.
- Streets may be closed or have limited vehicle and/or pedestrian access on 07/04/19 [Editor’s note: See below for more information.]
- We will have amplified sound during the hours of 11:00 am and 11:00 pm on 07/04/19
With those disclaimers aside, the Seafair Fourth will feature fun stuff down at Gas Works basically all day. This will include virtually nonstop music, exhibit booths, food vendors, kids games, a beer garden (not for the kids) and more. For those unfamiliar with the drill, the entire park will be closed off, and people entering will be screened for prohibited items notably alcohol, glass containers, pets, BBQs, and “projectiles” (frisbees, footballs, etc.). Admission is free, and while some reserved seating is available with prices ranging from $40 to $60 (and going quickly, apparently), sitting on the grass remains free.
Complete information is available here at the Seafair website, but the basic schedule is:
- 12:00 pm Gates Open
- 2:00 PM City of Music @ Seafair curated programming
- 5:15 PM City of Music @ Seafair Music Ambassador Zoser
- 6:30 PM Stacy Jones Band
- 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM Hit Explosion
- 10:15 PM Fireworks
- 11:00 PM Closed
It used to be pretty easy to find this information online; now it seems impossible. I emailed Chris Swenson at the city’s Special Events Office last week to find out some details, but haven’t heard back. Oh, well. Going from memory … At some point in the mid-afternoon, when absolutely every parking space in the closure zone (see map elsewhere on page) has been taken and people are just orbiting south Wallingford and wishfully thinking, the police will pull into the streets the barriers that were prepositioned last week. At this point, the only folks allowed in by car will be those who can prove they live in the area or have permission to park in someone’s driveway. Once the fireworks show is over (around 10:30-10:45), traffic is only allowed outbound on all streets. If you think you’ll be able to drive into the closure area, you might try swimming up Snoqualmie Falls as well.
In an attempt to end on a high note, I’ll point out that if you can find street parking on July 4, it will be free!