West Seattle 4th of July: Fireworks viewing from Admiral; other notes

Thanks to Jamie Kinney for sharing the view from the Admiral Bridge over Fairmount Ravine. Jamie says about 40 people watched from the bridge, and has a gallery with more images here.

Overall, so far, no major trouble. We roamed the busiest West Seattle spots in the hour and a half or so pre-fireworks, and during. Police were out on Alki in a big way – every half block or so, vehicles and officers were standing guard, including a few vans and even a small SPD bus. We don’t know yet if they had to make any arrests. 911 suggests no callouts for injuries.

Since the weather was so clear, multiple fireworks shows were visible from West Seattle – Bainbridge, from Alki Beach Park; Vashon, from Constellation Park, and a few others further south (not sure if the southernmost one was Des Moines or Tacoma).

ADDED 8:55 AM: While personal fireworks remain illegal in Seattle, as commenters have noted (particularly following our report on the small Admiral fire from last night), they proliferated. WSB contributor Nick Adams noticed this at Hamilton Viewpoint Park:

We’ll be checking around this morning on day-after cleanups at local parks/fields. Nick also photographed people who were at Hamilton to watch the Lake Union fireworks:

(If you find this story in subsequent years and wonder how early to get there – we stopped by around 8:45, an hour-plus before fireworks, and the park was jammed with cars, so unless you come really early, you have to plan alternate transportation, or park some distance away and walk.)

ADDED 10:09 AM: One more fireworks view – from Ilona Berzups, with the new Seattle Great Wheel showing its colors too:

Here’s another of her views, on Flickr.

30 Replies to "West Seattle 4th of July: Fireworks viewing from Admiral; other notes"

  • LE July 5, 2012 (12:39 am)

    From Beach drive, we definitely could see Tacoma’s display, then Bainbridge’s display, then the Bremerton/Port Orchard display. As well as numerous private fireworks both from neighbors’ houses and across the Sound in Manchester. I especially enjoyed seeing the fireworks reflected in the water, and the ferry boats crossing at the same time.

  • MissDivaBeth July 5, 2012 (1:06 am)

    Great picture!!!!!

    There were 2 shows out near me that MIGHT have been viewable from West Seattle. One was at Fort Dent in Tukwila, the other was at Coulon Park, although that one is less likely to be seen from there. I can see Fort Dent as a possibility though :)

    Must go look at Jamie’s pictures now.

    Beth :)

  • MissDivaBeth July 5, 2012 (1:14 am)

    WOW…just went and looked at the whole gallery of pictures, what a gift!!!!

    Thanks Jamie for sharing these!!!!


  • JanS July 5, 2012 (1:43 am)

    I saw the gang unit at Alki earlier, around 5:30pm-ish. I did see one arrest, down near the covered picnic pavilion. Lots of police presence…everyone seemed to be having a good time…

  • J July 5, 2012 (4:39 am)

    That’s an awsome picture!

  • Jennifer July 5, 2012 (7:26 am)

    What wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  • James Gregory July 5, 2012 (7:53 am)

    Awesome pictures. I was on Mercer Island and could see SEVERAL different fireworks displays. They were still going off when we decided to drive home and it sounded like we were trying to get out of a warzone! Fireworks going off at eye level while crossing I-90 right before the Bellevue Way exit. It was pretty cool.

  • haha July 5, 2012 (8:10 am)

    We had major issues up in pigeon point. For about 3 hours 3-4 houses had some large fireworks going off. Not your typical bottle rockets and stuff. But what must have been mortar sized fireworks. I really don’t have a problem with fireworks considering its just one night a year. But wish there was a limit in size to what can be purchased.

  • westseattledood July 5, 2012 (9:06 am)

    Happen to drive by Highland Park and Roxhill Park early this AM. Roxhill definitely was the most trashed.

    Full moon was a nice bonus in the skyline!

  • KatherineL July 5, 2012 (9:15 am)

    I spent the night inside soothing my cats while what sounded like a battle raged front and back of the house. Why do we need the sounds of war to celebrate independence? I read recently that church bells rang to celebrate when the Declaration was ratified. Let’s be traditional – let’s all ring bells to show how happy we are to be free.

  • Gina July 5, 2012 (9:36 am)

    Was housesitting on Beach Drive last night–I think I saw every firework show except for the Lake Union one. One of the cats was fascinated by the bangs and flashes, the other went under a bed, curled up and fell asleep. Was quieter down on BD than it usually is up in Admiral after 11.

  • cj July 5, 2012 (10:56 am)

    I didn’t know till too late last night that their were fireworks visible from Lowman beach park. I saw a few groups heading that way as word got around. I could also see the top third of the crowns just over the roof tops of 3 story buildings so must have been a good show. Also I heard a number of what I am sure were gun shots.

  • jw July 5, 2012 (12:52 pm)

    I sincerely hope the Seattle Police Department does something to curb the proliferation of personal fireworks next year because last night was the WORST night I’ve had here in the 15 years that I’ve lived in West Seattle. A “war zone” is putting it lightly. More than 10 times my house was rocked by outright explosions (not your standard firework pops). My dog was so terrified that she almost went into shock (not exaggerating) and required ice packs to keep her temparature down and avoid going into a coma – she was nearly unresponsive at one point. I state this fact not to play the “drama” card but to illustrate the severity of the event. PLEASE SPD, do something about this so that next year those of us that actually follow the laws have some chance to enjoy the holiday.

  • T-Rex July 5, 2012 (1:33 pm)

    JW, I am unsure where you live but I live at California and Portland and this was the worst 4th for me as well. I love the light shows and the small firecrackers but the a-pipes who buy the bombs are just that, a-pipes.

  • jw July 5, 2012 (1:34 pm)

    and btw… I cannot possibly imagine what a night like last night must have been like for our veterans who actually suffer from PTSD.

  • Neighbor July 5, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    jw-I’m with you! It’s getting so out of hand, it’s really scary. Our little neighborhood overlooks the bay and it’s astounding to me that every friggin’ year people are lighting up like it’s their right to provide their party with it’s own personal show. What that does is just encourage every Tom, dick and Harry who is walking through our streets light up as well. The risk to property damage is one thing but they have no concern for the safety of neighbors as well. God help us if someone needs medical attention because the aid cars couldn’t get in here due to all the influx. And holy crap if one of the sparks sets something off down the hill. There is no way other than a fly over the fire would be quenched. In the past we’ve hired a an off duty officer to help keep the peace, we didn’t do so this year since the lack of fireworks over the bay. Every neighbor I’ve spoken to wants to hire next year just to shut down the jerks who are lighting off their own. If we could charge those responsible we should. If people can’t live with not having fireworks in the city they should go live in the burbs and leave the city to those who get what it takes to remain safe and civil in high density. Grumble, grumble, grumble!

  • alki jj July 5, 2012 (2:22 pm)

    We closed up shop around 10-11 last night.It was fun calm and peaceful over here by seacrest. But between 11 and 6:30am our outside plants were stolen (from up high on our awning) and the buildings signage for a property sale was kicked over. :(

  • bridge to somewhere July 5, 2012 (2:40 pm)

    The level of fireworks at Roxhill Park was beyond ridiculous last night. And the parking lot and street were absolutely *covered* with spent fireworks and empty beer boxes this morning. Assuming that police traveled down Barton or Roxbury at least once after noon on the 4th, there was absolutely no way they could have missed the chaos. It was unreal.

  • cr July 5, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    sounds like a bunch of miserly old men yelling at the kids to stay off his lawn. We should round up all them young whippersnappers and throw them in the clink!

  • datamuse July 5, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    jw, I know a guy with PTSD who used to live in Seattle and he just left town every year rather than deal with noise that reminded him of serving in Afghanistan.
    Me, I’ve never been in a war zone, but I imagine it sounds something like Highland Park did last night. I agree it was worse than it’s been previous years. Fortunately my cat is old and a bit deaf so he mostly looked annoyed at being kept awake, rather than hiding under the furniture.

  • ohthehorror July 5, 2012 (4:26 pm)

    I grew up in the rural South where everything was legal and it was quiet and dignified in comparison to any 4th of July I’ve experienced in West Seattle. I guess the 4th brings out some repressed American need for mayhem and destruction in the normally passive aggressive West Seattleite.

  • sam-c July 5, 2012 (4:30 pm)

    I got fed up two years ago, with the dog barking all night long at every ‘boom’ that lasted to the wee hours of the morning. so, last year (it didn’t seem too drastic) we stayed at a hotel in the middle of Bellevue. got a good deal, they allowed dogs, and we had a view of the fireworks from the hotel room. It was right next to the park where they had the Bellevue family Fourth celebration and it turned out to be a great time. we all slept really well.

    I don’t know how many fireworks we avoided last year, however, seeing as there were police / SWAT team down the street investigating a ‘gun-shots through bathrooms walls w/ idiots shotting guns in their back yards’…

  • haha July 5, 2012 (4:48 pm)

    Yep, we decided to pack up the dogs next year and head out of town.

  • Carraig na Splinkeen July 5, 2012 (9:06 pm)

    Definitely the worst year, ever–been here many, many years and this was over the top (no pun intended). Note that there was *not* a sanctioned fireworks show in my neighborhood, so what I am saying relates to people setting off large, loud, and unlawful explosives, masked as “fireworks” not the ‘from afar’ ooh-ing and ah-ing stuff. So, “cr” maybe we can throw exploding, combustible items at your house from all sides for several hours into the wee hours to test your neighborliness?

  • AJP July 5, 2012 (9:16 pm)

    It’s ridiculous. Roxhill Park this morning was absolutely disgusting. Guess what, public parks *are* my lawn, and I want those damn kids and their enormous mess off of it! So much trash. City workers out cleaning it up. They shouldn’t have to do that. Stupid stupid stupid.

  • EdSane July 6, 2012 (7:50 am)

    Personally, I’m happy that city workers (via my taxes) are out and about cleaning up after the 4th. The city should set-up designated areas rather then an outright ban. Prohibition isn’t a good strategy when the vast majority (maybe not reflected in this thread) support personal firework displays. Also, i don’t think this year was any bigger then any other. I enjoyed myself. Make the best of life.

  • bridge to somewhere July 6, 2012 (11:04 am)

    @EdSane: it wasn’t just the city workers who had to clean up after the excessive fireworks at Roxhill; I spent a good 45 minutes of my own time cleaning my car, my yard, and the street in front of my house of fireworks debris. My car was totally covered in soot and spent fireworks casings. My house roof was covered too, which let me know what plenty of fireworks were shot toward it. Zero class garbage totally trashed the block. It’s way beyond just being a litter bug in a park.

  • cr July 6, 2012 (11:39 am)

    Actually, they are OUR parks AJP. Including those damn kids.

  • datamuse July 6, 2012 (9:33 pm)

    Is Bridge’s yard your park too, Cr?

  • EdSane July 7, 2012 (12:21 am)


    I agree the garbage is a nuisance. Which is why I’d prefer the city set-up designated areas where law abiding citizens could safely use fireworks and then clean-up afterwards (with state assistance). Prohibiting the use of fireworks entirely only encourages littering. People will light them off regardless. I’d prefer a workable solution rather then a ban.

Sorry, comment time is over.