Seattle’s 4th of July Celebration is Blowing Up
I remember the moment I fell in love with Seattle and decided it was the place I was going to live someday.
It was a Fourth of July in the late eighties and I was on a boat in Lake Union with my family and our friends. First of all, just being on a boat in the middle of a city with a spectacular skyline is pretty incredible. Then add the most amazing feat of pyrotechnics I had ever witnessed in my short life and I was halfway in love. The final kicker was when I realized that the music I was listening to was not coming from one set of speakers, but from everyone’s speakers in unison. I learned that night that all of those Seattleites were tuning into the same soundtrack that’s set to the fireworks show itself. It was that unison and camaraderie, that took a firm hold of my heart. I moved here the second I finished college. Apparently my first 4th of July experience on Lake Union could have been the first year that particular tradition started, and now 2012 marks the beginning of a whole new one.
The spirit of camaraderie lives on and newly formed partnerships will be enhancing the Independence Day spirit by bringing all the shores of Lake Union into the celebration. A trio of partners, along with generous support and donations from many local businesses (and especially a couple big ones,) are going to blow the festivities out of the water. They include:
1. One Reel, the non-profit producer of the Gas Works Park based Family 4th at Lake Union, Presented by Starbucks.
One Reel will present a special day of live music in both Gas Works Park and South Lake Union Park, and broadcast the National Anthem and synchronized fireworks soundtrack live in both parks for spectators around the lake to enjoy.
2. The Center for Wooden Boats, a non-profit center on South Lake Union that provides a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience.
The Center for Wooden Boats will hold their 36th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival for the five days leading up to the 4th and, as you can imagine, end it with a BOOM. A summertime tradition in the Emerald City; the festival features some 200 wooden boats ranging from rowing dinghies to the 133-foot classical schooner Adventuress. During the festival, visitors will be able to board dozens of historic sailing and rowing vessels from the CWB collection, and board many of the historic private vessels brought to the show by their proud owners. Classic rowboats can be rented, and free steam and sail rides will be running non-stop. Festival attendees can explore the many styles of boatbuilding in the Northwest, ranging from modern skiffs and cedar strip kayaks. Attendees can also learn to steer by the stars, sharpen their chisels or tie a “turks head” knot in skills classes and booths.
Don’t forget your walking shoes, MOHAI has designed the Cheshiahud Challenge, a 6-mile, 15-question walking history trivia game of Lake Union, presented by One Reel to stretch your legs and your brain! Make your way around the loop to find 15 History Trivia stops, read the clues at each location and record your answers on the game-map. Turn your completed game-maps in at either park location and be entered to win two (2) 3- Day Gold Passes to Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival.
So pick a park, either Gas Works Park beginning at noon or Lake Union Park beginning at 10 AM, park your blanket to reserve your spot, then enjoy the day-long celebration all around the lake before the fireworks blow up the night sky.