The locals will say that summer doesn't start until after July 4th, and there may be some truth there. It's not uncommon to have a rainy or overcast Independence Day in Seattle, but that doesn't mean that Seattle and other Western Washington cities don't go all out to celebrate. Quite the contrary, you'll find not just one big fireworks show and celebration, but many!
Seattle's most famous and largest fireworks show is the Lake Union Family Fourth, hosted at Gas Works Park each year. But other communities in and around Seattle and Tacoma also have July 4th celebrations, big and small.
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You can view these fireworks from many spots around Seattle, including Gas Works Park, which is where the Family Fourth event takes place. From noon until after the fireworks, Gas Works Park hosts live music, lots of kids activities, food vendors, a beer garden, and family barbecues (you can bring non-alcoholic beverages and your own food). Parking is extremely limited, so public transit options are better than trying to drive. If you can’t walk here, seriously consider finding a viewpoint you can walk or drive to! Points all around Lake Union are spectacular.
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Fireworks North of Seattle
Edmonds Kind of Fourth: This small-town event features a parade, a fun run, live music, lots of food and other events all day long. The event takes place in downtown Edmonds.
Colors of Everett July 4th: Everett has events going on all day long in downtown Everett. Key happenings include the Colors of Freedom parade and then Colors of Freedom Festival that kicks off just after the parade. The Thunder on the Bay fireworks polish off the night at Legion Park (also viewable from Grand Avenue Park, 1800 Grand Avenue). There is no parking at Legion Park that day. Most visitors use Everett Transit, which operates free of charge all day long.
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Bellevue Family 4th: Bellevue Family 4th is a laid-back and fun way to celebrate the day. There's live music, games, and activities for kids, food vendors, and plenty of fun for all are capped off with Bellevue’s firework show. Bonus, there's free parking at Bellevue Square after 6 p.m., which is something you won't find anywhere but the Eastside! The festivities take place at Bellevue Downtown Park.
Celebrate Kirkland: Another Eastside fourth event with fireworks is Celebrate Kirkland. Expect family activities, face painting, both a children’s parade and a larger parade, and a fireworks show to cap off the night. Fireworks are viewable from most of the waterfront parks in Kirkland and Heritage Park, but Celebrate Kirkland takes place at Marina Park.
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South King County Fireworks
Renton’s Fabulous Fourth: Renton's Fabulous Fourth has a bit of everything throughout the day. Children’s activities and face painting take place until the evening, as does live music and entertainment. At the end of the night, fireworks light up Gene Coulon Park, just off Lake Washington. Parking is limited at the park, but there is more nearby at The Landing, and other nearby lots (look for Event Parking signs).
Kent’s Fourth of July Splash: Kent’s July 4th celebrations feature lots of family fun from a pie eating contest to Bouncy Houses, food booths to live music. The event takes place at Lake Meridian Park, starting at noon.
Federal Way Fireworks: Before you head to this fireworks show, confirm the event is on for the year. There may be simply a fireworks show at dark, or some family activities starting in the late afternoon before the fireworks, but either way, the event takes place at Celebration Park.
Family 4th at the Fort – Tukwila: The fort in question is Fort Dent Park,... and as the name implies, this event is all about family. You'll find bounce houses, live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks. Parking is limited so come early or have alternate transportation plans.
Fireworks over Des Moines: July 4th fills Des Moines Marina with beer gardens, live music, rides and food throughout the day. At dark, there will be - of course - fireworks to enjoy.
Auburn 4th of July Festival: If you're looking for a low-key event that does not go until dark, Auburn has got you covered. The festivities wrap up around 4 p.m., but the day features a bike parade, live entertainment, over 50 artist and craft booths, and lots of kids’ activities. Some games for families are here, too, including bocce ball, mini golf, and bingo. Wristbands are available for a few dollars and allow unlimited access to all activities. The event takes place at Les Gove Park and there are no fireworks.
Enumclaw Stars and Stripes: Enumclaw Stars and Stripes knows how to start the day off right with a free breakfast. The rest of the day includes a parade and fireworks at dark all at the Enumclaw Expo Center.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Tacoma Freedom Fair: There’s no better fireworks show in the South Sound than the Freedom Fair. This all-day event has several stages of live music, over 100 artists and vendor booths, beer gardens, and a car show. The event stretches out for almost a mile along the Tacoma Waterfront. Something that makes this July 4th event special is its air show, featuring vintage aircraft and modern jets. The fireworks show has shells ranging from three to ten inches, much like the Seattle fireworks show, and there are tons of viewing points all along the miles of the Ruston Way Waterfront.