Where to see fireworks from Capitol Hill, USA! 236th birthday edition

2011’s view from north Broadway (Image: Catleah Jo Cunanan)

This article was assembled by our outsourced editing team in Bangalore. Happy 236th birthday, America. Don’t forget — Capitol Hill will also celebrate the USA on Saturday with the 10th annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic.

  • The fireworks show over Lake Union is usually begins at 10:10p. You can tune into the simulcast featuring a brand new soundtrack for 2012 on 97.3 FM. The speakers will also be set up at both Gas Works and Lake Union parks this year.
  • The prime Capitol Hill-connected viewing zone stretches along our northwest edge above Eastlake, of course. 
  • As much as the act is truly American, do not try to drive anywhere in the area. You will not find parking.

  • The Lakeview overpass will be closed to cars and pedestrians during the show. More on street closures from Eastlake Ave. Thanks to ElA for letting us rip off their map. Again.

    Traffic and parking restriction details from Eastlake Ave

  • Popular view spots include north of the Lakeview overpass:

More recently we discovered that Lakeview Boulevard E., just north of the Belmont-Eastlake I-5 overpass, is a great place to watch the distant Elliot Bay firework show and the in-your-face Lake Union show. There’s a wide sidewalk overlooking a steep slope down to I5 and the lake. A chain-link fence keeps you safe, but the blackberries growing in the fence can obstruct the view, so bring some gardening tools!

Am I spoiling it for myself by telling you? NO! it’s never been really crowded and I’ d much rather have you walk down and enjoy the view than the turkeys who drive in at the last moment, double park, leave their smelly engines running and blare their choice of music for all to “enjoy”. Note: the firefighters who turn up and sit on top of their truck to enjoy the show are NOT in that category. They often get called away during the show, but also get treats brought to them by partygoers in adjacent houses.

  • Nearby Bellevue Place Park
  • Side streets off 10th Ave E like E Boston or E Lynn (pictured on this post)
  • Various peek-a-boo views from the I-5 Shores area of the Hill
  • On the east edge of the Hill around 22nd and Galer affords a view of various Eastside displays.
  • Here are some images sent along to CHS in 2011 from various Hill vantage points:

    (Image above and below from Summit and Republican: Jessica Hana)

    From Fairview Ave at the end of Hamlin (Image: Scooter Lowrimore)

    From the Shannon building, 601 Belmont E (Image: Colin Birge)

    Near Bellevue, Bellevue, and Bellevue (Image: Suzi Fitz)

    Along Melrose (Image: Doug McLaughlin)

    • Parks usually leaves fields like Bobby Morris lit through the night to discourage shenanigans that would damage the artificial sports grass.
    • Personal fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle

    A north Capitol Hill street fills with 4th celebrants (Image: CHS)

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    11 thoughts on “Where to see fireworks from Capitol Hill, USA! 236th birthday edition

    1. There’s good views around the corner by the Roanoke. You can even cover your drinks with a coaster while you go watch the show and they’ll still be there when you get back. Also pong. Open at noon – $1 tacos and beers start at 4. Just saying.

    2. “More recently we discovered that Lakeview Boulevard E., just north of the Belmont-Eastlake I-5 overpass, is a great place to watch the distant Elliot Bay firework show”

      Hmmm… I saw that mentioned in the grey box above, but I thought the Elliot Bay fireworks show (historically put on by Ivar’s) was retired awhile ago, and we just have the Lake Union show now? It has been many years since I was in town for the 4th, so perhaps I am mistaken? Is there another show on Elliot Bay this year?

    3. By chance do you know where exactly that North Capitol Hill street is shown in the photo above? If they provide good views of the fireworks, it’s kind of nice to be able to see it in a safe place with your Capitol Hill neighbors. Thanks!

    4. A couple of weeks ago, I saw and chatted with a volunteer from the group that is trying to improve Melrose Ave….he was cleaning up the area just south of the area pictured (south of Belmont and Lakeview)….and many thanks to him and his co-workers, as that area has been a magnet for litter and derelict, long-parked cars.