Fun Fourth of July events around Puget Sound

The Fourth of July is just a few days away, so if you don’t have plans yet, now is the time to start making them. Luckily, the Puget Sound area is host to a number of fun, inexpensive Independence Day options. Here are our top four Fourth of July events:

For a family-friendly day, check out the annual Chase Family 4th event. The event offers free admission and features food, music, beer and wine gardens, activities for children, and of course, fireworks. The event starts at noon on the north side of Lake Union at Gas Works Park.

Don’t forget: Bring a blanket, but leave all pets, barbecues, alcoholic beverages, tents and weapons at home. Bags will be subject to search upon entry.

If you’re 21 or over, the Seattle Center has just the event for you. The Seattle International BeerFest runs from July 3rd to July 5th, with operating hours from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and ending at 7 p.m. on Sunday. For $20, you get entry to the event, and 10 beer tickets, with each beer costing between one and four tickets. But before you get excited for 10 full-sized beers, remember that all beers are distributed in four-ounce servings.

On the bright side, there is free re-entry-just keep your wristband and don’t forget your little cup. If you’re the designated driver, entry is just $5 with free non-alcoholic beverages.

Don’t forget: This is a cash-only event. Children are not allowed, but dogs are!

If you’re looking to stay on the east side of the lake, consider the Bellevue Family 4th. It’s held in Bellevue Downtown Park, just across the street from Bellevue Square Mall. In the park’s southwest parking lot, roughly 18 food booths will be set up offering food from restaurants such as DaVinci’s Pizza, Margarita Village, and Delicious Asian. At 9:30 p.m., the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra will take the stage for a special Independence Day performance, which will continue throughout the fireworks display.

Don’t forget: Bring a flashlight for safety purposes. Also, parking at the mall is free for the event after 6:00 p.m.

If you are going to be on the south end of the lake, the city of Renton would love for you to participate in their 4th of July celebration at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. The festivities begin at noon with free face painting for kids, followed by live entertainment at the main stage at 1:00 p.m. The event culminates at 10:00 p.m. in a fireworks display launched from a barge in Lake Washington.

Don’t forget: Parking extremely limited at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Follow the “Renton’s 4th of July” link on the website for a list of approved parking sites.

No matter what you choose to do this weekend, do it safely. The Police and Fire Departments of every city will be out in full-force to protect the public from everything from drunk driving to illegal fireworks. By planning ahead and using common sense, we can all have a fun and safe Independence Day.