Seafair prepares for July 4th fireworks show

Jun 29, 2013, 5:21 AM | Updated: Jul 1, 2013, 7:28 am

Seafair only had about six weeks to get ready for the annual fireworks show over Lake Union, but after taking the show over in April organizers said it’s ready roll on Thursday.

After running to the public for last minute funding the last few years and threatening to cancel the show if it didn’t get it, One Real got out of the Family Fourth business and Seafair, the City of Seattle and the Chamber of Commerce stepped in to keep it going.

Seafair CEO Beth Knox said taking over the fireworks and making it an official Seafair event just made sense. “Having the fireworks show on the front end of the Seafair summer schedule is a perfect fit,” she said. “It really feels like summer has started, and now we can get things rolling.”

But Seafair has never put on such a big-time fireworks show. Are organizers ready to go? “We are very comfortable with producing the event,” Knox said. “The biggest challenge we had, of course, was the short timeline.”

Seafair hired a new Oregon company to produce the 20-minute show over Lake Union, but Knox said they didn’t add too many other new wrinkles this year. “Given the short time frame, we were just looking to make sure we put on a great show for the public and not get too creative with anything new,” she said. “That will come in 2014.”

One new element this year should be popular. It’s courtesy of The National Guard, which is a Seafair sponsor. “They’ll be bringing in a howitzer to kick off the show, and Mayor McGinn is going to fire this howitzer down on the edge of Lake Union so we can kick-off the fireworks show,” Knox said.

Yes, it will be firing a blank. There won’t be a target on the Space Needle.

Knox said all the usual things you love about the Family Fourth will be there. “We’ll have a stage with music on it. We’ll have family activities, food vendors. Our beer garden will be there.”

But does adding this fireworks show make up for the lack of Blue Angels? Knox said Seafair will still have a great air show, hydro races and all the traditional events. “No question: we are going to miss the Blue Angels, and we will also miss our Fleet Week,” she said. “But we’ll have all the great things like the Torchlight Parade and milk carton derby.”

The Pirates will still make their traditional landing at Alki on Saturday.

Look for the fireworks barge to slide into place on Wednesday.

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Seafair prepares for July 4th fireworks show