With the Fourth of July nearly upon us, there are many reasons to celebrate: the real start of summer, a short workweek, plenty of good local food to throw on the barbecue. Yet another: all of the free stuff to do around the Sound in the summer. The no-cost fun kicks off with fireworks shows and continues with movies, music, theater, art and more. Here’s a (by no means comprehensive) list. Did we mention all the events listed here are free?
For complete listings of July 4 and other fun, go to
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Joss Whedon’s 2012 box-office smash will crash-bam-boom on no less than a half dozen outdoor screens this summer, in neighborhoods as far flung as Carillon Point (425-822-1700 or www.carillon-point.com), Fremont (www.fremontoutdoormovies.com), Snohomish (425-388-3411 or www.snocoparks.org), Redmond (425-556-2358 or redmond.gov/rypac), Lower Queen Anne (206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com) and West Seattle (www.westseattlemovies.blogspot.com). Overall, Seattle’s love affair with outdoor movies has spread to more than 25 neighborhoods. For a giant list of titles and dates, go to seattletimes.com and search Summer Movies 2013.
‘A Star-Spangled Spectacular’
Seattle Wind Symphony, led by Larry Gookin, offers a rousing program of works by Bernstein, Sousa and Tchaikovsky at 7:30 p.m. July 3 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle. Although the concert is free, tickets are required; pick them up at the Benaroya ticket office at Third Avenue and Union Street. Seating is guaranteed to all ticket holders until 10 minutes before the start of the concert. Info: www.benaroyahall.org.
Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival
The popular summer fest’s concerts cost $15-$45 per ticket, but each of the main performances (continuing through July 26) is preceded by a short, free recital at the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. A free Chamber Music in the Park performance is set for 7 p.m. July 17 at Volunteer Park, Seattle. Info: www.seattlechambermusic.org.
Summer Concerts at the Mural
Music is free and al fresco everywhere in Seattle in the summer, but KEXP and Seattle Center’s annual series of outdoor shows feature acts a cut above sidewalk buskers. Singer-songwriter JD McPherson, indie band Cloud Cult, rockers Mudhoney and an electronic music showcase lead the lineup.
Concerts begin at 5 p.m. every Friday starting Aug. 2 at the Mural Amphitheatre. Admission is free for all ages and seating is on the lawn. Bring a blanket and pack some snacks or enjoy a cold beer in the 21+ beer garden.
Aug. 2: No Depression Night with JD McPherson, Rose Windows, River Giant
Aug. 9: Cloud Cult, Deep Sea Diver, Chastity Belt
Aug. 16: Mudhoney, The Grizzled Mighty, Dude York
Aug. 23: Decibel Festival Night with Lusine, Natasha Kmeto, Vox Mod
FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS
Seafair Summer Fourth
Gates open at noon, food, exhibits, entertainment, fireworks at 10:15 p.m.; Gas Works Park, 2101 N. Northlake Way, Seattle; (www.seafair.com).
Bellevue Family 4th
Gates open 2 p.m.; Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra performs 9:30 p.m. before and during fireworks display, Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 N.E. 4th St., Bellevue (www.bellevuedowntown.org
Noon parade; fireworks at 10:15 p.m., Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive, Kirkland (www.celebratekirkland.org
An Edmonds Kind of 4th
Noon parade, fireworks at 10 p.m., Civic Center Playfield, Edmonds (425-670-1496 or www.edmondswa.com
Kenmore Fireworks Show
8 p.m. activities, fireworks at 10 p.m., Tracy Owen Station/Log Boom Park, Northeast 175th Street and 61st Avenue Northeast, Kenmore (www.kenmorewa.gov/events
Renton Fabulous 4th of July
Noon children’s activities, fireworks at 10 p.m., Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N., Renton; parking extremely limited (rentonwa.gov/living/default.aspx?id=5920).
Family 4th at the Fort
9 a.m., park opens, fireworks at 10 p.m., Fort Dent Park, 6800 Fort Dent Way, Tukwila (206-768-2822 or www.tukwilawa.gov/recreation/recevent.html
Fireworks Over Des Moines
5 p.m. opening festivities, fireworks at dusk, Des Moines Marina and Beach Park, 22307 Dock St., Des Moines (destinationdesmoineswa.org/fireworks-over-des-moines/
Federal Way Red, White and Blues Festival
6 p.m. entertainment, fireworks at 10:15 p.m., Celebration Park, 1095 S. 324th St., Federal Way (253-835-6900 or www.cityoffederalway.com).
Carnation 4th of July Celebration
8 a.m. pancake breakfast, parade, fireworks at dusk, downtown Carnation (carnation4th.org).
La Conner 4th of July Parade, Picnic and Fireworks
11:30 a.m. parade , 11:30 a.m. picnic, Pioneer Park; fireworks at dusk, La Conner (360-466-4778 or www.lovelaconner.com).
Bellevue Arts Festival Weekend
Art of all kinds takes over Bellevue on July 26-28, with the Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair, Bellevue 6th Street Fair and Bellevue Festival of the Arts. Browse and meet the artists. Info: www.bellevue.com.
Olympic Sculpture Park
You’re not seeing things — the attic/top story of a house is indeed sprouting from the turf at the park. It’s Heather Hart’s “The Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof off the Mother,” and you can walk on it, and in it, and expect all kinds of things to happen around it. The park at Seattle’s waterfront is open daily, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, 2901 Western Ave. Info: www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/osp.
Frye Art Museum
Late-19th- and early-20th-century European paintings mingle with works by emerging artists at the Frye Art Museum on Seattle’s First Hill (the museum’s lot offers free parking as well). Running all summer:
“Buster Simpson // Surveyor,” the first retrospective of work by Seattle artist Simpson, a pioneer in the field of art in public spaces;
“The Hudson Flows West,” which explores the American idea of manifest destiny through art;
“Horizon,” a look at “psychological notions of the horizon” with historical paintings and contemporary video.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays and Fridays-Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays., 704 Terry Ave.
Nights at the Neptune
Racial/social justice is the theme of a new series of free performances by community groups at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle. Next up: 7 p.m. July 2, “David & Jonathan, a “modern-day retelling of the biblical story” set in a contemporary black church. Produced by Kathya Alexander and Brownbox Theatre. Productions continue July 18, 23; Aug. 15, 20, 22; and Sept. 17. Info: stgpresents.org.
Seattle Shakespeare Co.
Wooden O, the touring arm of SSC, marks its 20th anniversary with productions of “Hentry V” and “The Tempest” at parks in 11 cities around the Puget Sound region. Productions open July 11. Info:
GreenStage marks its 25th season this year with outdoor performances of “King Lear” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and something new: “Backyard Bard,” a series of four-actor, 45-minute productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Merry Wives of Windsor.” Productions open July 12. Info:
This summer’s production, “The Magic Pudding,” is the story of Bunyip Bluegum the koala, Bill Barnacle the sailor and Sam Sawnoff the penguin and their magic pudding, Albert. 5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through July 28, Volunteer Park, Seattle. Info: www.schmeater.org.