How to Celebrate the Fourth of July in Seattle This Year
Here’s how to watch fireworks and party on the Fourth of July in Seattle this year.
Nothing enhances a fireworks show like its reflection on the mirror surface of a placid lake. In Seattle, the waterfront is as essential to the Fourth of July experience as barbecue. Whether you stake out a window seat at a waterfront restaurant, take a ferry at just the right time (specifically the 9:45 pm Bainbridge ferry from either terminal), march along with the Celebrate Kirkland Parade, stake out a camera spot at Kerry Park overlooking the city, or dance the night away on a boat, the Fourth ushers in the first of many festive outdoor nights of the season. Plus, there are also fireworks shows and events in neighboring cities like Bellevue, Edmonds, and Kenmore. Under the same night sky, even along the same water, you’ll have many ways to celebrate the nation’s 247th birthday.
With the Fourth falling on a Monday, party goers have the long weekend to party hop from a night of Bollywood hits to Latin beats on a floating dance floor both with DJs, photographers, and a full bar. Attendees will party the night away on the Spirit of 76, a yacht designed with a bar, club-like dance floor, and outdoor viewing deck. On Saturday, the Spirit of 76 will have high-energy Bollywood hits and mixes from Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai to Bom Diggy Diggy. Sunday, the beats will switch to a roster of Reggaeton, Salsa, Top 40s, and Latin hits across all genres curated by DJ Xpression. Traditional attire or clubwear is encouraged and a photographer will be on sight for photos. The boat leaves with or without you at 8 pm from the Naval Reserve Armory so arrive on time and ready to go.
On the night of the firework show, be at the center of the best view in town. When it comes to party boats, Seattle has many options. On July Fourth, the Spirit of 76 takes sail again through Lake Union and Lake Washington where the DJs bring a vibrant soundtrack of Hip Hop, R&B, EDM, and mashups. Emerald City Party Boats returns this year, offering a private table and a bottle of champagne for four. Argosy’s Red, White and Boom promises four hours of music from a live DJ and a full bar sailing from Lake Washington towards the big event at Lake Union. These party boats are equipped with viewing decks so you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the view with a drink in hand.
Amazon Seafair Summer Fourth continues its run as not just the best fireworks show in town, but in the nation, as voted by USA TODAY and Business Insider. There are multiple vantage points around Lake Union; most of them are free. However, the reserved seatings at three different points in the city offer unique experiences catered to your wants and needs. At Gas Works, an elevated vantage point guarantees an up-close view with daytime live music, beer gardens, and a glow-in-the-dark dance party while Lake Union Park with its darker sky view promises a color-packed viewing experience with access to a Food Truck Park and cocktails from the South Lake Union Bar. If you have access to a boat, sail out to the fireworks barge and enjoy the Amazon Floating Concert. The fireworks show begins at 10:15 pm.
Those who prefer land over water will flock to the rooftop bars with a panoramic view of the city. DJ Mark Farina and Uniting Souls introduce two rooms of music to the Monkey Loft with BBQ from chef Chris Eimen. Mbar offers an elegant set menu with a complimentary glass of bubbles with a bird’s eye view of Lake Union. U-District’s Mountaineering Club with its 360° view of the city promises to bring its own fireworks with cocktails adorned with sparklers and flaming citrus plus champagne cocktail slushies. Save room for the ice cream, hot dogs, and s’mores.
Book the window seat
Restaurants with a waterfront view are already popular, but no time more so than the Fourth when everyone is vying for that front row seat. Better yet, with a seafood dinner in tow. Seattle institutions like Ivar’s and Salty’s are taking reservations so you can step away from the hot grill and dine on classic fish and seafood dishes with some of the best views of the city. At Westward, a massive seafood tower and mezcal flights with a stunning view of the water will cause reservations to book up fast. Lake Union’s White Swan Public House, smack in the center of the action, runs on first come first serve seating. The area is bound to be packed all day so biking, walking, and showing up early are highly recommended. If timed correctly, you might be able to chase your raw oysters, seafood tower, and craft cocktails with a round of fireworks.