Seafair takes over fireworks show
Add another Seafair activity to the long existing list.There are already the hydroplane races, the Torchlight Parade, the Milk Carton Derby and a host of other events.This year, you can add the Seafair Summer Fourth — the Fourth of July celebration at Gas Works Park and fireworks show over Lak
Seattle Times staff reporter
Add another Seafair activity to the long existing list.
There are already the hydroplane races, the Torchlight Parade, the Milk Carton Derby and a host of other events.
This year, you can add the Seafair Summer Fourth — the Fourth of July celebration at Gas Works Park and fireworks show over Lake Union.
Seafair took over this year as producer of the show from One Reel, which had said earlier this year that it hadn’t raised enough money to put on the event.
Seattle’s annual fireworks show has faced an annual funding crisis since 2010, when Chase Bank stopped sponsoring it.
But then Mayor Mike McGinn, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Seafair came up with a plan, which includes major sponsorship from Microsoft, Amazon, DoubleDown Interactive and others, to raise enough money to put on the show for at least three years.
The Seafair Summer Fourth was one of many Fourth of July celebrations around the region, including in Edmonds, Bellevue and Burien.
At Gas Works Park, the Seafair branding was immediately apparent upon stepping onto the grounds.
Booths featuring Seafair information dotted the grounds. The Seafair princesses, with sparkling tiaras and beaming smiles, were out in force greeting people and signing autographs. The Seafair pirates and clowns were also scheduled to make an appearance.
“We’re really trying to Seafair-ize it,” said Melissa Jurcan, director of sales and marketing for Seafair.
In addition to those Seafair touches, the organization has added some fun, old-fashioned competitions such as a pie-eating contest, a Hula-Hoop competition, sack races and a tug-of-war contest.
The organization is also using a different fireworks company this year: Canby, Ore.-based Western Fireworks Display, which has produced some of the long-running Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s shows in the past, Jurcan said.
Western was planning on emphasizing a patriotic, red-white-and-blue theme with its fireworks show, she added.
For those taking a break from, or bypassing, the Seafair festivities, there was still space to spread out along Gas Works’ lawns — at least in the early afternoon, though many of the prime spots were already taken.
Ashley Martinez, 18, of Kent, and her four friends got there at 10:30 in the morning so they could find parking and a good spot for their tent.
Angelina Peña, 23, from Colombia came with a group of other women who are all in a program working as au pairs in the area for a year.
“Everyone said the best thing to see are the fireworks,” said Peña.
It did take, however, quite a bit of coordinating among the five women to schedule which buses to take to meet up and get to Gas Works by noon.
Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @janettu. Information from Seattle Times archives is used in this report.