After a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the Seafair Summer Fourth celebration on Lake Union and at Gas Works park will take place once again this Independence Day! This year’s celebration is sponsored by Amazon. You’ve probably heard of them.
While festivities culminate with the fireworks display after dark, events and entertainment begin mid-afternoon and stretch through day. Two beer gardens will be available to slake your thirst, and of course, there will be food. Live music will be performed throughout the day on a stage immediately north of the gas works. And there is also a “Kids Zone.” Not sure what that will consist of, but it sounds fun! Reserved, pay seating is available (prices range from $70 to $85) south and east of the gas works themselves while the majority of the park, including the entire kite hill area, is free, open seating. (Remember that the fireworks will be launched from a barge in the middle of the lake, so if you sit on the north side of the hill, you may have an obstructed view.)
If you can’t make it to Gas Works, or choose not to, live coverage on KONG TV starts at nine. A separate venue will be set up at South Lake Union for those wishing to try their luck down there instead.
Permitted/ Prohibited Items
As is typical of public events these days, all persons entering Gas Works should expect to have their bag(s) searched. There are some obvious “nos”: weapons, alcohol (never allowed in city parks except by permit), drugs. There are also some less-obvious nos: drones, pets, helium balloons, noise makers. Specifically permitted as such things as coolers, computers and non-alcoholic drinks (in sealed bottles). Folks bringing in bikes, skate boards, etc. will be expected to leave those items at the event’s secure Bike Compound. A complete list of permitted and prohibited items is here.
Getting There and Street Closures
This is our neighborhood’s largest event attracting tens of thousands of people, and many will come from afar by car to witness it. Be prepared for car-megeddon. I could not find any specific information on parking or traffic flow for this event on the Seattle Police website, but I can tell you from experience what to expect. Early arrivals will be fortunate enough to snag street-side parking. Eventually, this will give way to lots of useless orbiting as cars search for spaces that no longer exist. Sometime around five or so, when it’s clear that all parking in the area is gone, police stationed along 40th St. will close down all the north-south streets to southbound traffic. If you live south of 40th, you will still be able to get in by telling the police you live in the area. Once the fireworks go off, though, forget about that. All traffic will move only outbound from Gas Works for about an hour until the area is cleared.
Pro-tip: walk or take a bike. Secure bike parking is available at Gas Works in the Bike Corral. If you must drive, I suggest parking north of 40th and walking down. That way, you won’t get trapped in the outbound traffic after the show.
Schedule of events:
- 3:00 PM Gates Open
- 9:00 PM Live Coverage begins on KONG TV
- 10:15 PM Opening Ceremony Featuring Tess Altiveros
- 10:20 PM Fireworks Show
- 11:00 PM Parks Close