From huge festivals to smaller community revelries, the state of Washington celebrates the 4th of July in many different ways that is sure to satisfy even the most extravagant of tastes, but which ones are the absolute best when it comes to our great nation’s anniversary? After all, you only get one chance every year to be a part of the perfect Independence Day bash, so you obviously want to be at the very best one.
We have chosen our favorite 4th of July celebrations all across Washington and explain a little what each one is about so you can choose the one that you’ll be a part of this year. All of them, of course, are full of delicious food, amazing shows, and the warmth of the local people, but we try to include celebrations with something that made them unique or at least different enough from the rest. Enjoy!
Tacoma’s Freedom Fair
Self-described as the largest one-day event in Washington, the Tacoma Freedom Fair takes place in the Ruston Way Waterfront and is truly one of the biggers 4th of July bashes you’ll ever be a part of if you attend. Some of the features include various music stages, an air show, activities for kids, a huge display of fireworks, and many, many food vendors carrying both season staples and a few original creations. Being such a big event means that you’ll be amongst tens of thousands of people, but that’s where the beauty of the Tacoma Freedom Fair lies; since it takes place in the Ruston Way, you won’t feel crowded at any time, as there is plenty of space for everybody!
4th of July in Edmonds
Compared to Tacoma’s Freedom Fair, the 4th of July festivities in Edmonds are drastically smaller, but that doesn’t mean that this lovely little town in Washington doesn’t know how to have fun! The schedule for the day kicks off with two simultaneous races, where the townspeople chase down ol’ man George Bracket, founder of Edmonds, all through downtown until the finish line. Two different parades follow, and after that you can grab lunch and dinner at the dozen food trucks and vendor booths available. Afterward, Brackett’s Beard and Mustache Contest takes place, honoring George Bracket’s suave facial hair in three different categories. Finally, the day closes off with the traditional fireworks display blazing through the night sky while traditional music lifts your spirits after a long day of fun, running, and delicious food! A small town charm permeates the whole event, giving the day a quaint feeling you won’t get from the bigger festivals.
Everett’s Color of Freedom Parade and Festival
This day-long revery in Everett is divided into two main parts, each of them great in their own right. The day begins at 10:45 a.m. with the Colors of Freedom Parade, which features marchings bands, dancers, giant puppets, stilt walkers, and even a stunt motorcycle team providing pre-show entertainment. Second part is the Colors of Freedom Festival proper, which lasts from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. It’s filled with live music, bouncy houses, arts & crafts, kids’ activities, a performance by the Seattle Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps. And of course, everything closes off the way it should: With a massive hour-long fireworks display which you can enjoy from three different points while listening to a music simulcast on local radio.
Seattle’s Cancer Care Alliance Seafair Summer Fourth
You thought we would leave our state capital’s celebration out of the list? Absolutely not! Their 4th of July fireworks display, the amazing Seafair Summer Fourth, is such a massive display that you can watch it from either the Gas Works Park or Lake Union Park (and pretty much anywhere along the shoreline) for two completely different experiences. Both locations feature an expansive beer garden where you can quench your thirst while you wait for the fireworks to begin, but the Gas Works Park experience will also include All-American games like sack races, pie-eating contests, and much more. They choreograph the fireworks to a custom-made musical score for the Sefair, so you can’t miss it!
Bellevue’s Family 4th
Another gargantuan Independence Day celebration, the largest in all of eastern Washington, reunites over 60,000 people to enjoy live music, delicious food, family-friendly games, and more. Lasting all day long, the Bellevue celebration is an all-around romp in honor of our country’s birthday, and the big bow that wraps up the whole event is an incredibly beautiful fireworks display set to a live performance by the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. These talented young musicians even offer a post-fireworks performance to close the whole even on an even higher note than you could ever think possible.
After you come home from a big festival like the ones we listed above, don’t you feel glad that you’re not the one that has to clean up when the whole thing is over? Well, you can carry that beautiful feeling all the way home if you know who to call!