First 2 shows – then 1 show – now, no Seattle 4th of July fireworks?

(7/4/09 photo shared by Gilbert, showing Lake Union fireworks as seen from West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint)
Even without Elliott Bay fireworks last year – after Ivar’s canceled its longrunning annual 4th of Jul-Ivar’s show – West Seattle viewpoints still drew crowds for views of the Lake Union fireworks, rising high behind the south edge of downtown. This year, though, as of tonight, looks like no fireworks, after the company that produced the Lake Union show posted a letter saying it hasn’t found a sponsor (after taking over WaMu, the previous sponsor, Chase, only committed to last year’s show), and they needed to have one by now (although one company executive told KING 5 they might be able to pull it out IF a sponsor came forward immediately). Some are worried the lack of an “official” fireworks show will result in more illegal fireworks. According to our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times, the price tag for sponsoring the Lake Union show has been more than half a million dollars. If we indeed turn out to be fireworksless in Seattle this year, you’ll have options elsewhere – Bellevue has a show accompanied by a live symphony orchestra; some South King County cities like Des Moines, Renton and Tukwila have fireworks too, as does Vashon Island, just a ferry ride away.

37 Replies to "First 2 shows - then 1 show - now, no Seattle 4th of July fireworks?"

  • Sotavento March 31, 2010 (11:04 pm)


  • Alki Area March 31, 2010 (11:08 pm)

    Not sure I really care one way or the other, but it is amazing that in a town with hugely profitable companies (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, hell you’d think one of them could sponsor this. Heck the one down on Elliot Bay was sponsored by a freaken local fish restaurant. So you think a world wide billion dollar corporation might be able to step in…(sigh). Gotta love to lack of community involvement.

  • Diane March 31, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    so have we verified that this is not an early April Fools prank?

  • Diane March 31, 2010 (11:22 pm)

    or is Ivar messing with us again?

  • Sotavento March 31, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    We could really use those 500,000 dollars in something more useful.
    I hope is not an April Fools prank.

  • JanS April 1, 2010 (12:11 am)

    Alki Area…you forgot Google, Nintendo ;-)

    Maybe we could have a bake sale, take up a collection…community involvement. We’d get to keep our status as a first class city :)

  • Noelle April 1, 2010 (12:24 am)

    How much $ does something like AN IVAR’S style fireworks show cost even? A show With all the bells and whistles like Seattle has come to expect? Really 500,000 dollars ?

    • WSB April 1, 2010 (1:29 am)

      I suspect some part of the half-million involves permits, insurance, promoter fee in the case of Lake Union, other event expenses … I worked with a fireworks company during the years we had a fireworks broadcast at KCPQ, and I could swear I remember him saying the baseline cost was somewhere more like $100K-$150K. Of course, the show we broadcast was Bellevue, which has smaller shells because it’s fired off the roof of Bellevue Square …

  • CR April 1, 2010 (5:03 am)

    Yeah! Good riddens to the noise, pollution, and scared dogs.

  • toddinwestwood April 1, 2010 (5:29 am)

    Oh CR, if it was only that easy. Now think of everyone in the city that was going to watch that show, going out to the reservation and buying their own fireworks to do at their own house.
    Its going to be stupid around here this year.

  • coffee April 1, 2010 (5:40 am)

    Remember how Chase said they would be community focused. Haven’t seen anything yet from them on that side….

  • Carson April 1, 2010 (6:47 am)

    CR, great point, but as my wife mentioned this morning, it probably means more local yahoo’s will have their own little private fireworks shows, ie more scared dogs and fires.

  • Meghan April 1, 2010 (7:06 am)

    You would think that a city with so many incredibly profitable companies would have one of them come forward to sponsor this. I mean, wouldn’t this be a relatively tiny community contribution for Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nordstrom, or any of the other big local corporations to make?? Come on, Amazon! Step up!!

  • Darren April 1, 2010 (7:13 am)

    CR- The other fireworks still scare dogs and pollute. It’s not just the big fireworks.

  • Kayleigh April 1, 2010 (7:37 am)

    If I had half a million dollars to give to the community, I wouldn’t give it to fireworks either. There are sooooo many better ways to enrich the community and celebrate America.

  • David April 1, 2010 (7:41 am)

    Fireworks are a waste of money. I wouldn’t fault anyone for not sponsoring a display.

  • Molly April 1, 2010 (7:52 am)

    I will miss the fireworks. I think its sad that such a wonderful city with an abudance of successful companies located here will not have a community fireworks celebration. Granted, there are more pressing issues but 4th of July fireworks are a wonderful celebration of the founding of our country for everyone.

  • Steph in WS April 1, 2010 (7:56 am)

    So many damn scrooges. Gawd. Come on people. This sucks! All people do here is complain about fun stuff like this. Did you not like it as a kid? Sorry bunch of people….

  • BOOM! April 1, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Huzza for the death of fun! One little piece at a time! Make it all vanilla, no sprinkles!

    Ugh, well despite the fact that it may make some here choke on their Geritol, I will be making up for the lack of an official show in a BIG way.

    Come July 4 listen for the BOOM! I’ll be celebrating my country . . . by blowing up a small piece of it!

  • bsmomma April 1, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Well, here’s another thing to add to the list of “When I was a kid………..”

  • David April 1, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Patriotism is the egg from which wars are hatched.

  • West Seattle Art Attack April 1, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Imagine the show that we could have if it was sponsored by Boom City or one of the local casinos. I understand why none of the big corporations would want to foot the bill – how can you be reducing workforce and tightening the purse strings while simultaneously spending money on something so frivolous. It’s a no-win situation. I love fireworks and wish someone would step up but I understand why they haven’t. . . . .

  • old timer April 1, 2010 (8:58 am)

    The Seattle.Gov site says that according to the 2000 census, there were 270,524 housing units in the city.
    The number of housing units surely has grown since 2000.
    At $2.00 a pop, we could put on our own show, with a bit left over for admin positions.
    To me, that’s a pretty good deal, and no corporate sponsor to pander to either.
    Two Bucks for 4th of July? Even cheapskate me would go for it!

  • JEM April 1, 2010 (9:41 am)

    I enjoy the unincorporated king county display as seen from the edges of Arbor Heights. Oh wait, those are the yahoos. My dog however is not a fan.

  • Patrick April 1, 2010 (9:48 am)

    This could be an INCREDIBLE opportunity for Amazon (who is moving to South Lake Union) to build tremendous good will by ‘rescuing’ the Fourth of July fireworks! Are you listening, Mr. Bezos????

  • k April 1, 2010 (10:10 am)

    KIRO’s Dave Ross is taking pledges to save the fireworks!

  • sam April 1, 2010 (10:16 am)

    only in $ 1,000 incremements.

    if the West Seattle could get 200 folks to pledge $5…then pledge as a group….

  • J April 1, 2010 (10:18 am)

    Would everyone who is unhappy about the big companies not sponsoring the fireworks show be willing to chip in? Why not join together pay for this–create a collective. I’ll bet local businesses would be willing to pay part, if they weren’t expected to foot the entire bill. For my part, I feel I owe Ivars a big thank-you for all their years of sponsorship, for which I paid not one penny, but did enjoy the show!

    • WSB April 1, 2010 (10:24 am)

      We would chip in. We are in our second year of co-sponsoring various community events, some charitable (like the Nature Consortium brunch, West Seattle Food Bank gala, West Seattle 5K, Polar Plunge) and some just because they’re fun community events (such as West Seattle Junction Car Show, West Seattle Summer Fest), and certainly fireworks fall in the latter category. We don’t have anyone to do the organizing but if someone else out there – whether it’s Dave Ross per previous comment or ? – actually lines up a commitment from a fireworks-show provider and sets up a serious fund, we’re there – TR

      • WSB April 1, 2010 (10:46 am)

        Update, looks like a pretty serious effort. Just pledged $1,000. 4th of July is our favorite holiday.

  • Kevin Lisota April 1, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    Our company, findwell real estate, is planning a replacement for the Lake Union fireworks show. See more about the plans here:

    • WSB April 1, 2010 (12:15 pm)

      Read your thing when @mortgageporter tweeted about it – very cute – now that I’d like to see :)

  • Katherine April 1, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    I’m only sorry it took a financial disaster to bring about this decision, rather than a thoughtful consideration of the environmental impacts of such a stupid display of mock firepower (that has nothing to do with our actual independence, by the way). Fireworks shows pullute the air, scare animals both wild and domestic, and send a distorted message about war.

    Celebrate the true meaning of Independence Day by becoming more involved in your local civic and political scene, working for clean air and water, peace, and political and social dialogue.

  • Noelle April 1, 2010 (5:59 pm)

    Wow, the BIG Fireworks cost a lot of money to put on but they are tradition! They bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. They are good for the human spirit and childhood memories. I hope someone makes a foundation to gather money for the fireworks. A dollar here and a dollar there can really add up fast.
    I know the fireworks scare my dogs too. Its only once a year though. (The Blue Angels also upset my pooches also) We all have to deal with things we don’t like in life though. I think the hoodlums with the illegal “at home” fireworks are much more disruptive and dangerous than a professional show over the water. I hope we can get our 4Th Back on track!!!

  • Dave Anderson April 1, 2010 (6:20 pm)

    Via Twitter today from @Starbucks:
    Seattle! This is not an April Fools joke. We and @Microsoft are each matching $125k to sponsor the fireworks

    • WSB April 1, 2010 (6:34 pm)

      thanks, I intend to post an update later, have been posting this on FB and Tw – TR

  • MTM April 1, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Hey WSB – Way to go, contributing to saving Seattle’s fireworks display. I applaud you for your generosity and community spirit and I love that Seattle isn’t just sitting back and griping about how no one is stepping up to sponsor the fireworks this year. Makes me proud to be a resident of Seattle and especially of West Seattle. Like Sam said, is where anyone can contribute and already about 75% of the funding has been raised.

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