Here’s Where You Can Celebrate the Fourth of July Around Town

Posted on: June 11, 2024

Here’s Where You Can Celebrate the Fourth of July Around Town


While June-uary may be a uniquely Seattle “season,” we all know what it’s store once we make it through: July 4th, the official kickoff to a glorious PNW summer. If you’re like me and want to plan ahead for your picnicking and fireworks viewing, I’ve pulled together some of the region’s most popular festivities and a few tips on where to park, where kids can get in on the action, and where you might try a new parade on for size this year.

The Seattle Scene

You’re probably already aware of the biggest show in town on July 4th - and this year is no different. The free Amazon Seafair Summer Fourth takes place in Wallingford and South Lake Union, where every year 50,000 revelers gather by the droves at Gas Works Park and Lake Union Park for a day full of live music and beer gardens - all punctuated after dark with a choreographed, over-water fireworks display. Gas Works is the best choice for families, with its special kids’ zone to get their wiggles out while you’re waiting for the colorful, culminating celebration.

Insider tips: If you’re planning to head to Gasworks, avoid driving if you can help it, and take public transportation instead. Early in the day is best, before the area is too congested for buses. Bring a picnic, plenty of water, lawn games, blankets, and a lot of sunscreen.

If You Can’t Handle the Crowd

If you prefer a more intimate venue for viewing the Seattle fireworks, consider setting sail on an Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour on Lake Union. It’s really one of the best ways to view the fireworks, as they burst right above your head and reflect on the water beside you. Plus, there’s a full-service bar. Two boats depart from Lake Union and Kirkland, respectively.

Another option: Get an elevated view from the top of the Space Needle. Rise above the crowds and take in the fireworks from 520 feet off the ground while sipping cocktails from Loupe Lounge.

Celebrate Kirkland

Come together with Kirkland residents for the city’s annual 4th of July parade in the downtown business district. This beloved traditional parade, now in its 25th year, includes dance groups, music acts, local shop floats, government reps and honoring of veterans.

If you have kids or grandkids, meet up at the kids pavilion in the Lakeshore Plaza parking lot where the little ones can decorate their bikes, trikes, strollers and wagons and pick up some fun, patriotic giveaways. Line up for the kids parade by 11:15; the parade (a shorter version of the main route) kicks off at 11:30 am. Find all the important info about Celebrate Kirkland here.

Bellevue Family Fourth

Food trucks, live music (including local blues legend Lady A), family fun and - yes - fireworks are all on the lineup at the Bellevue Family Fourth celebration at Bellevue Downtown Park. Consider biking there, carpooling or bussing, as parking is challenging before and after the event.

The Bellevue fireworks display is unique in that it is synchronized to a performance by the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra - a real treat. They’ll play pre-fireworks, followed by the national anthem by the Bellevue Chamber Chorus, and then wrap up the show after the dazzling sky extravaganza. The evening event kicks off at 5 pm and fireworks begin at 10:05 pm.

Make a Day of It at Community July 4th Festivities

If you’re likely to venture out this Fourth, our region has numerous parades and festivities to offer. See how a neighboring town puts on the show and perhaps you’ll discover a new family tradition. Some favorites include:

Burien Independence Day Parade

The parade starts at 10 am (that’s a new time if you’ve happened to go to this parade before) and lasts for approximately two hours. Prime parade viewing is at Town Square Park, and SW 152nd Street to 8th avenue SW. Or join in on the fun - the parade is open to all, both as spectators and marchers. If you do want to march in the parade, reserve your spot in advance - they are keeping it to 100 groups to keep with their centennial theme this year.

An Edmonds Kind of Fourth

Sign up for the Beat Brackett 5K or 1K through beautiful Edmonds and the Town of Woodway, then head downtown for the Children’s Parade at 11:30 am and Main Parade at noon. This legacy event has been going on since 1907!

Down Home Fourth

Always a community favorite, Olde Town Issaquah’s parade runs along Front Street starting at 11 am. This year’s Grand Marshal is Jarod R. Munzer, Director of the Cougar Mountain Zoo, in honor of the Zoo’s 50th anniversary. Zoo-themed outfits and costumes are encouraged! After the parade, head to the Veterans Memorial Field for bouncy houses, zoo activities, School of Rock music performances, and more.

At Home on Mercer Island

Of course I have a soft spot for Mercer Island and won’t miss our Summer Celebration, held in mid-July every year. While personal fireworks will be prohibited this Fourth of July on Mercer Island due to the water supply shortage, the Summer Celebration will go on as usual on July 13th. This one-day event for the Island has two locations: Mercerdale Park during the afternoon and Luther Burbank Park in the evening, with music, family entertainment, food vendors, festivities and - yes - the fireworks show. The Community Parade starts at 10 am that day and processes down 78th Avenue SE, from the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Park to Mercerdale Park. See you there!

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