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How to Safely Have a 4th to be Reckoned With (Updated)

Once again, it’s that time of the year when we remind you that the possession, manufacture, storage, sale and use of fireworks (meaning everything but pop-it caps) is prohibited in Seattle, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

Instead risking life, limb, a hefty fine and jail time, why not go see the great show the good folks at Seafair have planned for you at Lake Union? There will be three pie-eating contests at the event. Three.

If you do attend Seafair’s Fourth of July event, here’s a list of things they’d like you to leave at home:
Prohibited Items 
The following items are not allowed on the premises: Personal barbecues, marijuana, alcohol, fireworks, pets, weapons, tent stakes, glass bottles, and knives with blades over 3″ in length.

And speaking of letting the professionals do their thing on what’s sure to be another busy Fourth of July, officers need your help keeping the intersection of Belmont Ave and Bellevue Pl. E. clear for emergency vehicles. In recent years, the intersection has become a popular spot during 4th Festivities, which is problematic as it’s also a direct link between Lakeview and South Lake Union. Please help police keep the street clear this year.

Finally, please keep in mind that 911 call centers are typically slammed on the 4th with calls about people who refuse to heed our warnings and end up with fireworks-related injuries or house fires.

Because of that influx of calls, please only use 911 to report life-threatening emergencies. While the Seattle Police Department values every call from neighbors about concerns in their communities, the Fourth has typically been a loud and busy day for police and firefighters over the last 237 years, and frequent fireworks noise complaints make it more difficult for 911 operators, police, and fire officials to respond to life-threatening emergencies across the city.

So, DO CALL 911: to report fires, injuries, crimes, or any other life-threatening incidents.

DO NOT CALL 911: to complain about noise from fireworks or the weather.

If you do have concerns about fireworks in your neighborhood, but nothing has been damaged and no one has been injured, you can still call the Seattle Police non-emergency number at (206) 625-5011.

Have a safe Fourth of July!


We realize some of you may have had trouble committing our handy FAQ on lawful Marijuana use in Seattle to memory, so we wanted to provide a brief reminder of an important point from our guide:

“Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at [Gasworks Park on the 4th of July], [a 4th of July Fireworks show], or [at a fireworks show on the 4th of July]?”

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

If you openly smoke marijuana at an event in a public park on the 4th, officers may remove you from the park, issue you a parks trespass warning, or, as a last resort, even cite you with a $50 (plus administrative fees) violation of I-502.

So, if you’re planning on attending a big event, make sure you’re respecting your fellow voters and following the regulations of I-502.