West Seattle post-4th of July scene: Solstice Park fireworks debris

As the annual “fireworks are illegal but the law’s not enforced” discussion rages on, the fact of the matter is that fireworks don’t just make noise, they often result in toxic trash left behind by users, especially in public parks. We’ve received photos from one, Solstice Park, same place across from north Lincoln Park where we cover the annual change-of-season gatherings (decidedly non-trash-generating events), and just upslope from a P-Patch.

Lori sent these photos along with an expression of her dismay: “Just walked up to see the mess from last night. UGH. They walked past our house and I’m sure they were all teens. Lots of empty beer cans and bottles and an OJ container that I bet has vodka in it. Illegal fireworks and drinking, with no punishment, so it will certainly happen again next year. Unless we put up lights, have neighbors occupy the park from 8-midnight, or hire a security guard for the night!” (We’re checking with >Seattle Parks about their general citywide postmortem.)

47 Replies to "West Seattle post-4th of July scene: Solstice Park fireworks debris"

  • Vanessa July 5, 2018 (1:39 pm)

    So little respect. Not the way my Momma taught us. Even when we were dumb teenagers drinking beers underage, we knew how to find a trash can.

  • Jim P. July 5, 2018 (1:41 pm)

    West Seattle sounded like a major war zone Wednesday night.  I completely fail to understand why the PD cannot place a unit or two at each park where this stuff is known to happen.  It is not exactly hard to spot when you have this much debris left behind or when explosions loud enough to echo off hills miles away are a near constant noise.Declare the parks closed after 9 PM or such on the 4th and simply start citing people showing up with obvious loads of fireworks and booze.Freedom doesn’t mean “I can do what I want where I want when I want and bleep everyone else’s rights”.

    • Joan July 5, 2018 (9:14 pm)

      I completely agree! It sounded like a war zone. I actually felt vibrations from the impact of the explosions. I call the really loud firecrackers what they are: explosions. There’s nothing entertaining about endangering people’s hearing, life and limb, and scaring people and animals. I hate that police can’t enforce the law. With so many fireworks stands readily available, it’s hopeless that we can get back to celebrations that aren’t out of control. Every year I dread the Fourth.

  • KM July 5, 2018 (1:51 pm)

    If everyone can direct their anger into about 10 minutes of picking up firework debris in their neighborhood, we’ll all be better for it. I understand that it’s infuriating (I pick up after the same neighbors every year, even when the debris doesn’t land in my yard), but getting mad online isn’t going to help–cleaning up will have a positive impact on all of us.

    • Mike July 5, 2018 (11:35 pm)

      “If everyone people littering can direct their anger into about 10 minutes of picking up firework debris in their neighborhood, we’ll all be better for it.”

      • KM July 6, 2018 (7:26 am)

        Unless you can reach those directly, which I don’t think you will on this blog, it’s up to the rest of us who care. We can’t just blame those who litter for trash around our neighborhood either, it’s often from our landfill/recycling cans, crows, etc. despite our best intentions.

        • Mike July 6, 2018 (10:25 pm)

          Yes, I definitely saw the crows lighting fireworks at the school by us.  They cawed and hopped away sideways in that sly way afterwards.  How about a nice public shaming with photos and video of those that litter?

    • Americas b day July 6, 2018 (10:05 am)

      See finally a wise person…. Cant wait for next year

  • Lori July 5, 2018 (2:03 pm)

    I called the parks department and they said they’d be by to pick up the mess – but of course they have many other places to clean up. I thought about picking it up (someone did last year) but perhaps the city would be more serious about enforcing if they deal with the aftermath.

  • disdain July 5, 2018 (2:05 pm)

    Yesterday at 6pm a car stopped at the light on Genesee & Avalon and threw an m80 out the window and then continued east on Genesee.  There are four buildings of residences at this intersection. Total disrespect, assume delinquents don’t live anywhere nearby. Causing disruption wherever their 6pm not cruising in their neighborhood took them. No one could get a cell phone video of the 30 seconds of rude behavior and by the time SPD answered the phone – they would be long gone.

  • me July 5, 2018 (2:42 pm)

    It was pretty crazy out there, I can’t believe there weren’t any fires, we walked past Hiawatha and there people were setting off fireworks that were exploding directly into the trees.With all the dry grass and the amount of fireworks going off I literally can’t believe nothing caught on fire….

    • WSB July 5, 2018 (3:02 pm)

      In our “late-night notes” we noted one call of a tree fire at California/Findlay, don’t know if it was fireworks-related or not. According to an update just posted by SFD, they’re still tallying last night citywide. No cause determination on the E. Marginal fire (our followup is up shortly) either. – TR

      • Hank D July 5, 2018 (7:30 pm)

        That was near my house. A passerby spotted some random person walking down the street, intentionally setting it on fire, then running off. He was told that SPD would not respond. Thankfully, the fire was out in less than 5 minutes – could have been much worse if not for several nearby good Samaritans.

      • Concerned July 6, 2018 (5:02 am)

        There was also a dumpster fire in the garbage bin at the Westwood Village McDonald’s 

        • KM July 6, 2018 (9:44 am)

          Literal one night of the year, figurative the rest of them?

  • gxnx July 5, 2018 (2:47 pm)

    Happy Independence DayMake West Seattle Great again!!Please salute our Great Leader for the independence and liberty to light up the fireworks and the pursuit of  our happiness.Remember, the thunder and sound of fireworks is the sound of Freedom.Geeze, it is only a day to celebrate our freedom , fireworks sales is good for China!!

  • LuLu July 5, 2018 (2:53 pm)

    Disgusting and disrespectful!

  • B. Armo July 5, 2018 (3:01 pm)

    Several years ago SPD warned a group of us using “safe and sane” fireworks that there was a heavy fine involved if we didn’t desist, so we did. What has changed? I know the 4th is busy, but not a single squad car appeared in my neighborhood, just north of Lincoln Park. I didn’t call 911, as I hoped someone who could actually SEE the action would have done.  An hour or two of steady explosions and  no one responds? It’s insane, and the litter left behind is the least of it in my book. There is nothing patriotic about deafening explosions and potential property damage, which will no doubt carry on each night until the supply of explosives is used up. Isn’t it bad policy to have a law on the books which appears to be neither enforced nor enforceable? The miscreants have no regard for freaked out pets, the ill and housebound, or those of us who would just like some peace and quiet. Some areas of the country more prone to wildfires have started using laser shows for their public displays. This at least demonstrates the extreme need for caution.  Really, can nothing be done?

  • coffeedude July 5, 2018 (3:14 pm)


    • Mikekey July 5, 2018 (4:18 pm)

      They are!  Doesn’t matter, if law not enforced,

  • Gene July 5, 2018 (3:45 pm)

    GXNX- wow lucky you – only one day?  We had stuff exploding for 2 days before the 4th. 

  • QuietPlease July 5, 2018 (3:51 pm)

    AMEN! Last night was the loudest I can remember. People went crazy with fireworks. I live by the Homestead BY FAR the most fireworks I’ve heard on the 4th.

  • FedUpNative July 5, 2018 (5:00 pm)

    Showed up to work at a veterinary hospital today to find our parking lot filled with fireworks debris. A VETERINARY HOSPITAL!!!!! WITH PETS BOARDING!!! How rude and selfish can one be?????

  • Senior July 5, 2018 (5:26 pm)


  • anonyme July 5, 2018 (6:04 pm)

    The punishment I have in mind is not printable.  However, the fact that SPD drives right by these crimes in progress is a crime in and of itself.

    • German Bee July 5, 2018 (7:46 pm)

      Yes, its dereliction of duty.  West Seattle has so many active neighborhood groups.  We should band together and demand action.  The police department should be sued for ignoring a crime in progress, and also the city.  The least they could have done is stop and confiscate the fireworks.

  • Question July 5, 2018 (6:08 pm)

    I have a simple, maybe silly question.  If fireworks are illegal, who is selling them and why are they allowed to?  Thanks!

    • KM July 5, 2018 (6:33 pm)

      Tribal lands (Tulalip, Muckleshoot, etc.)

    • Bubbasaurus July 6, 2018 (1:17 am)

      They’re legal in unincorporated King County, so you just need to go south of Roxbury to buy fireworks.

  • Really? July 5, 2018 (6:18 pm)

    “ discussion rages on,“ Is the discussion “raging” anywhere other then this blog?  It is funny listening to both sides of the left and right, seems like both are effectively just complaining about which laws they feel should be enforced and when.  Given the language that is being used here, is it really surprising no one is listening to each other?

  • Chris July 5, 2018 (6:23 pm)

    We are glad to see other comments re this issue.   We did not know if just our area sounding like a “war zone.”   It seems like more want to break the laws “everyone else does it, so why can’t I.”   It still does not make it right.    What an example to our children and young people.   Just no regard for the laws, the wildlife, pets, property or others.    We see three houses damaged in another area because of fireworks.   We see it in driving as people more and more want to go 35 to 48 in a 30 mph zone and almost trying to push us down the road as they get on our bumper.   Admiral Hill is really bad for that & we see the sign how fast they are going as sometimes we just have to get out of the way.We know there is hope, just do not know how right now to stop all of this illegal activity.Many thanks to all of you are there that are obeying our laws and being good examples to our young people and others.   We know there are more good people than bad out there…..the bad people always seem to make the news.

  • Jort Sandwich July 5, 2018 (6:42 pm)

    As someone who has been accused of tilting against windmills in my attempts to help move Seattle towards a smarter, better transportation future (the most common reply I receive is along the lines of “cars aren’t going anywhere and bikes will NEVER work so SHUT UP, Jort”), I sincerely sympathize with those of you who are frustrated that your neighbors wantonly and egregiously choose to violate the law when it comes to fireworks.It’s absolutely an uphill battle to fight against socially-accepted illegal behavior, even when it has serious consequences. People also wantonly and egregiously violate the law while driving their cars every day without giving it a second thought, which I also find frustrating, since auto drivers are responsible for one of the leading causes of death and serious injury in America. It frustrates me, also, that the Seattle Police aren’t enforcing our traffic laws.I admire all of you who wish that the status quo would change. But, as so many of you often say to me, good luck with that. It’s going to take a lot more than photo shaming and war stories to change this kind of behavior.

    • Mike July 6, 2018 (10:30 pm)

      I like cookies and beer, it’s fantastical.  The unicorns are pretty.

  • scott collins July 5, 2018 (7:01 pm)

    I for one like all the fireworks.   Reminds me of being a kid. 

    • mehud7 July 5, 2018 (8:52 pm)

      You must be far younger than I am.  When I was a kid we lit sparklers and those black coil-y snakes and then went to the fireworks show at the stadium in Everett.  It was pure, innocent fun.

    • I Can Play Too July 6, 2018 (12:01 am)

      Last night my dog went into a weird shaking seizure type behavior after about 2 hours of WWIII.  I’m diabetic, and  I will be keeping all my sharps for next year, and my freedom loving neighbors will have a fun surprise in their yards when they get up on July 5th.  It’s OK, right?  Just celebrating my freedom by distributing medical waste.

  • T July 5, 2018 (9:06 pm)

    A number of years ago the comments were like, fireworks trash? Not a big deal. I’m glad attitudes are changing.

  • AJP July 5, 2018 (10:01 pm)

    Highland Park looked the same.

  • Easy Money July 5, 2018 (10:36 pm)

    Yeah well maybe if you didn’t call the police these hooligans would have picked up the mess. Oh and that OJ didn’t have vodka in it #vitaminD.

  • Elle Nell July 5, 2018 (10:47 pm)

    Well, I don’t mind the fireworks…. I know they are going to happen every year and I’m prepared for it. My little dog has adapted as I’ve taken her in the yard while they are going off all around and we play big time fetch. When she would stop, starteled at the booms, I reassure her. She has since adapted to the Fourth of July. Another reason I don’t mind, is that I’ve grown up here and when we were young one of the exciting trips we would make was to boom town. Get our goodies and always try to find the m-80s… sometimes with no luck. I mean I remember some friend had m-1000s and 5000s. Blew a hole in the street but what the heck… I have also in my adult life, attended extremely fun parties with all sorts of fireworks and enjoyed every minute. And I say that to say this… if you didn’t grow up doing this I could completely understand how it would be scary and obnoxiously loud BUT if you understand what folks are doing, well I have to say I tolerate just fine. I have also taught my son how to light his own fireworks off safety and now that he’s an older teenager, he and his buddies light them off and I’m actually glad he knows how to safely enjoy the holiday festivities…And after every fourth, we walk down to our local park and help clean up even though we weren’t there at all. Part of being an active member of this great community… that’s how we roll. 

    • Mike July 6, 2018 (5:57 am)

      https://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/06/28/fireworks-season-can-trigger-ptsd-veterans.html  Not everyone deals with it as easily.  You’re also extremely lucky your dog does not mind.  My dog is breed to be around gun shots and isn’t freaked out, but some dogs go into panic for a long time because of the booms.  I found that my dog panics for hours after hearing the smoke detector goes off, took her 3 hours to calm back down.  It’s the only thing I’ve found that she can’t handle, literally shaking violently.  So it’s nice that you don’t have a problem with it, but other people do.  I grew up here too, actually born in Seattle.  I remember people going to boom town (aka, the rez) to buy illegal fireworks.  Illegal 40 years ago, illegal today.  I remember the kid that lost part of their hand because of those fun trips to boom town.  There’s a reason they’re illegal, there’s a reason you can’t even buy black cat firecrackers in White Center (which is outside Seattle city limits where ALL fireworks are illegal).  

    • Star July 6, 2018 (8:28 am)

      The problem with the fireworks is that, unlike many other dangerous or illegal personal choices, they are affecting hundreds or thousands of other people and animals who did *not* choose to be in a temporary war zone. I have never lived in a neighborhood that was so out of control with explosives. On top of being annoying, stressful, and dangerous, the fireworks are detrimental to the health of everyone in the area, regardless of how tolerant they are. Every 5th of July since moving here I have had to either use my limited sick time or go to work with maybe 2 or 3 hours’ sleep and a throbbing headache. The decibel level of the explosions is well beyond the point where hearing is damaged, both for people and for pets, and it is sustained for hours. There was an air quality advisory yesterday, specifically due to the amount of toxic particulates left in the air by fireworks. 

  • westseabestsea July 6, 2018 (9:53 am)

    Why not plan a wholesome (yet late night) neighborhood block party next year? It’s my dream to be a the “get off my lawn” grumper yelling at teenagers, but I can’t afford a lawn in West Seattle, so really this is an ideal situation for me.  I volunteer as tribute. haha :) 

  • Mangoes July 6, 2018 (10:58 am)

    People are disgusting.

  • anonyme July 6, 2018 (11:18 am)

    Elle Nell…hey, a great big congrats on teaching your son to be an obnoxious, self-centered criminal just like good ol’ mom.  Isn’t that contributing to the delinquency of a minor?  Why is it no surprise that the kind of person who thinks this is OK also has the narcissistic chutzpah to come on here and brag – not only about breaking the law, but insensitivity to anyone else?  Disgusting.

  • Hmmm July 6, 2018 (3:24 pm)

    Jort S. Per your past posts saying you know all about WS traffic because you DRIVE A CAR EVERYWHERE I’m left scratching my head trying to understand your post.  The article here was on illegal use of fireworks-not your love of car’s.

  • 1994 July 6, 2018 (8:20 pm)

    I was out of town July 4. I found my yard littered with fireworks remnants, 2 discolored patches on my grass from fireworks, and one that landed on my 2nd floor deck leaving a pile of powder and cardboard pieces. I could have returned to a burned house!Your freedom to ignite fireworks doesn’t mean you have the freedom to damage or litter the property of others. Please be considerate and do not buy fireworks. Or, consider limiting yourself to fireworks that don’t fly around because you have NO idea where they will land. 

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