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. July 4th is a big deal in Western Washingon. 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.
Here are the biggest and best spots to find fireworks, family fun and food on Independence Day.
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.
Gates open at 12 p.m. General admission is free; reserved seating for the fireworks is $40-60.
Edmonds Kind of Fourth: This small-town event features family fun all day long on July 4. The day starts off at 10 a.m. with a the Beat Bracket 5K and Beat Brackett 1K - George Brackett was the founder of Edmonds and the race entails literally beating Brackett (or at least a running imposter of George Brackett) to the finish line. Runners of all ages and speeds are welcome. The fun continues at 11:30 a.m. with a smaller kids parade, and the main parade at noon. Afternoon activities include a Edmonds Firefighters Waterball Competition at 2:30 p.m., food vendors and evening entertainment, a Brackett mustache competition, and finally fireworks at 10 p.m.
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 set to music by the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. Bonus, there's free parking at the Bellevue Collection after 6 p.m., which is something you won't find anywhere in Seattle! 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.
South King County Fireworks
Renton’s July 4th: From 9 a.m. until after the fireworks at 10 p.m., Renton's Fabulous Fourth has a bit of everything throughout the day. Children’s activities and face painting take place until the evening, as do live music and entertainment. At the end of the night, a 25-minute fireworks show lights 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 to giant Jenga. The event takes place at Lake Meridian Park, from noon to 10:30 p.m. Parking at Meridian Park is for those with disabled parking plaques and permit parking only. For everyone else, there are shuttles from Kent Fire Station #75, Kentwood High School and Mattson Middle School
Federal Way Fireworks and Red, White and Blues Festival: From 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., Federal Way's Celebration Park will have entertainment, crafts, food, live music, inflatables and fun for all ages. Fireworks take to the sky at 10:15 p.m.
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, food trucks 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. Starting at noon, enjoy the Kids Carnival, which has a bounce house, a maze, an obstacle course, mini golf and other things to do. At 5 p.m., the beer garden opens and two live bands take to the stage. At 10:20 p.m., there will be fireworks to enjoy. The event is free, but parking costs and it's very limited. If you can carpool or take public transportation, do!
South Sound Fireworks
Tacoma Freedom Fair: There’s no better fireworks show in the South Sound than the Freedom Fair. This all-day event (starting around 11 a.m.) has several stages of live music, over 100 artists and vendor booths and beer gardens. 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.
JBLM Freedom Fest: Joint Base Lewis McChord doesn't open its gates to the public for July 4th every year, but in 2019, the party is on! From 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums, you can enjoy a day filled with live music, roving entertainers, food and family fun. At dark, fireworks fill the sky over the base. The event is open to the public and free to attend.