Summer doesn’t start until July 5th around here. (Ask a Seattleite.) So, being the official kickoff to the sunny season, Seattle takes the Fourth of July seriously.
This year, we’re looking forward to the annual Seafair Summer Fourth celebration on South Lake Union, plus a family-friendly baseball game in White Center, a house music festival at Seattle Center, and a lit fireworks party up north 🎇
SeaFair Summer Fourth 2023 @ Lake Union
Maybe you’ve heard, but USA Today and Business Insider have hailed Amazon Seafair Summer Fourth as one of the nation’s best fireworks shows—and they’re very right! Featuring a choreographed fireworks production accompanied by a musical score, the day’s activities also include pre-show activities, games, beer gardens, entertainment, and, of course, food.
Like other years, Seafair Summer Fourth 2023 is free and open to the public, though ticketed reserved seats are available if you want to splurge for the best seat. Gates open at 3 pm, with fireworks starting around 10:15 pm. Parking is free, though ridesharing, carpooling, and public transportation is recommended. For those who can’t make it IRL, KONG will air a live broadcast from 9 to 11 pm.
While there’s only one fireworks show, the event promotes three different core viewing experiences. Try to watch the explosions from one of these spots:
🎇 Gas Works Park, for a hilltop view
📍 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle
This is the family-friendly, fun-filled festival spot. A sound stage has live music with day-to-night programming. Here’s where you find food like corn dogs. It’s the best spot to post up all day.
✨ Lake Union Park, for a darker sky view
📍 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle
If a chill, get-a-drink, grab-some-food kinda vibe is more your pace, then Lake Union Park is your place. It offers a north-facing darker sky view. Hit up one of the area’s many establishments for a nibble.
🎆 Lake Union, for an overhead view
This one is for boat buddies and sun seekers. If you’ve got a boat or have access to one, the fireworks show can be caught from spots within the lake. A plethora of overhead views.
🖊️ Patheresa Wells
DubSea Fish Sticks Season @ Mel Olson Stadium
⚾ Season runs now through July 29th
⏰ Fourth of July game @ 11:05 am
🎟️ Game tickets here📍Mel Olson Stadium, inside Steve Cox Memorial Park: 1321 SW 102nd St, Seattle
Last summer, I went down to White Center for a $3 Thursday DubSea Fish Sticks baseball game—and right on entering, someone asked me if I wanted to be part of a water balloon toss happening later in the game. I declined, which I still regret, but it was a great intro to the good times happening at Fish Sticks baseball games.
The DubSea Fish Sticks are a summer collegiate baseball team that plays at Mel Olsen Stadium, inside King County’s Steve Cox Memorial Park. They typically play through the summer, with this year’s season running through July 29th. You can catch a rousing mid-morning game against Diamond Sports on the 4th of July, or if you’re looking for an afternoon activity with the family, Kids Day is on July 18th. And as mentioned, they have $3 games every Thursday—a great budget-friendly option!
Games are family-friendly, with exciting sports action and silly antics between innings (see: water balloon toss). Grab classic baseball fare at the concession stand (they do sell fish sticks!) or go to the “Ice Chest” beer and wine garden for a cold drink. You may also see their mascot, Fin Crispy Jr., walking around with a water gun, ready to spray some sports fans. 🖊️ Kaylyn Nese
DIY Fireworks Show @ Boom City
📸: Mortar Area, Boom City, Tulalip Reservation | Katie Kurtz
⏰ Daily through July 4th • 6 pm to midnight
📍 @ Tulalip Reservation | 10274 27th Ave NE, Tulalip, WA 98271
Besides the rows of hand-painted wood sheds emblazoned with graphics and names like Tulalip Bears, PurpleHaze, and Louie Louie, the first thing you see when you pull into the Boom City parking lot is a giant traffic sign flashing alternating messages: LIGHTING HERE ONLY and LIGHT AT OWN RISK.
While most fireworks are illegal throughout Washington State, tribal sovereignty allows for sales on reservations. Directly west of Marysville, the Tulalip Reservation is the closest to Seattle, where fireworks can also be set off on-site. Home to Boom City since the early 1980s, around 100 enrolled Tulalip families run stands that sell everything from family-friendly fountains and poppers to giant three-foot-high assortment packs of every variety of loud, colorful, and sparkly firework you could desire. (Pro-tip: the more money you spend, the likelier you are to get freebies thrown in.)
Next to the flashing traffic sign and parking lot is a large designated area to light off Roman candles, mortars, and aerials. About the size of a city block, the field functions more or less as a fireworks mosh pit, with smoke billowing continuously as high-decibel pyrotechnics shake the ground. It’s easy to miss the spray-painted cardboard MORTAR AREA sign propped about 100 yards into the field—especially once it gets dark—but that’s where you go to light off your heaviest explosives.
Obviously, the family friendliness of Boom City is up to the discretion of the family. The Tulalip Tribal Police has increased its presence over years past, the parking area has been moved farther away from the ordinance field, and safety reminders are given regularly. There’s also a “kids area” blocked off from the rest of the field.
If you’re looking for an alternative to jockeying for a spot at Gas Works Park on the 4th, the Saturday before the 4th is the busiest here, with a near-constant barrage of fireworks. Bring earplugs, though, and light at your own risk. 🖊️ Katie Kurtz
Fourth at the Mural @ Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheatre
So much house 🕺
📸: Fourth at the Mural
📍 305 Harrison St, Seattle
What better way to celebrate freedom than by losing yourself to house music in the heart of Seattle, nestled right under the Space Needle? Producer Disco Donnie Presents is bringing Fourth at The Mural, a daylong music fest featuring a variety of house from renowned DJs Chris Lorenzo, Lee Foss, LP Giobbi, HoneyLuv, Azzecca—and local favorite Tony H.
Located at the Mural Amphitheatre, the party’s open-air layout and stunning backdrop create the perfect dance floor for all the local house heads to come together. The combo of high-tempo beats, lights, and the Fourth of July’s all-around liveliness will turn the music’s pulse into the city’s heartbeat. In the spirit of forefathers fighting for independence, this party invites you to embrace your individuality, let go of inhibitions, and dance with pure liberations. 🖊️ Kaylee Botting