Fireworks and flybys: Freedom Fair takes stage Monday

By David Guest

Tacoma Daily Index editor

Soaring aircraft, thundering fireworks and food and music are set to take over the Ruston Way waterfront when the Tacoma Freedom Fair takes place on Monday, July 4.

While the fireworks will finish the day’s events (at 10:10 p.m.), there will be plenty of other things to see and do on land and on and over the water.

Events begin at 10 a.m., featuring music on five stages, dozens of vendors serving an international assortment of food and drink, an arts and crafts area and kid’s play area.

The fair covers the full length of Ruston Way whichwill be closed to traffic for the duration of the event. Parking is limited, however, Pierce Transit will provide a free shuttle to and from Tacoma Community College and the Tacoma Dome Station throughout the event.

Pedestrian access is from four entry points:

  • The main entrance on McCarver Street from North 30th Street in Old Town Tacoma (where the Freedom Fair Express bus drops off passengers).
  • At the center of the event, down the North 36th Street hill to North Alder Way.
  • From North Ferdinand Street, which provides pedestrian access as well as vehicular access to the only public parking and disability parking locations (available on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 per car).
  • And to the north, from the Town of Ruston via Ruston Way. Vehicles may not enter from this direction.

Voluntary donations for admission to the waterfront are suggested at $3 per person/$7 per family. The proceeds help offset the expenses incurred by the volunteer, non-profit Tacoma Events Commission which presents the annual event.

The Freedom Fair Air Show will take place over Commencement Bay, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

For an early look at some of the aircraft performing on Monday, visitors may attend the Gig Harbor Wings and Wheels event which will be held Sunday, July 3 at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Other local July 4 fireworks displays

Fireworks start at dark (10-10:15 p.m.)

Bainbridge – Grand Old 4th of July, 9 a.m.-dark, over Eagle Harbor (between ferry dock and Pritchard Park).

Bellevue – Bellevue Family Fourth, 2-10:30 p.m., Bellevue Downtown Park (10201 NE Fourth St., Bellevue).

Des Moines – Fireworks Over Des Moines, 10 p.m., Des Moines Marina (22307 Dock St., Des Moines).

Enumclaw – Stars and Stripes, parade noon;  fireworks 9:45 -10:45 p.m., Southwood soccer fields (3240 McDougall Ave., Enumclaw).

Kirkland – Celebrate Kirkland, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Marina Park (25 Lake Shore Plaza, Kirkland.

Federal Way – Red, White & Blues Festival, 4-10:15 p.m., Celebration Park (1095 S. 324th St., Federal Way).

Kent – Fourth of July Splash, noon-10:30 p.m., Lake Meridian Park (14800 SE 272nd St., Kent).

Port Orchard – Fathoms O’ Fun, 10:30 p.m., Sinclair Inlet.

Poulsbo – Fireworks on the Fjord 3rd of July Celebration, 10 p.m. (Sunday, July 3), Liberty Park Bay (18809 Anderson Parkway, Poulsbo).

Renton – Fabulous 4th of July, 9 a.m.-dark, Gene Coulon Park (1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N., Renton).

Sammamish – Fourth on the Plateau, 6 – 10:30 p.m., Sammamish Commons Plaza at City Hall (801 228th Ave SE, Sammamish)

Sea-Tac – Family Fourth of July, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Angle Lake Park (19408 International Blvd., SeaTac).

Seattle – Seafair Summer Fourth, noon-11 p.m., Gas Works Park (2102 N. Northlake Way, Seattle).

Tukwila – Family 4th at the Fort, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Fort Dent Park (6800 Fort Dent Way, Tukwila).


Freedom Fair music schedule

Worthy Music Minstries StageDickman Mill Park
Martin Henry Project 11-11:45 a.m.
Jasmine Fuller noon-12:30 p.m.
Jennifer Denison 12:30-1 p.m.
Swing Low 1-1:30 p.m.
Foxley 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Susan Murphy 4:45-5:30 p.m.
Collin Meredith 5:30-6 p.m.
Chuck Worthy 6-6:30 p.m.
Kristy Jordan and the Eastside Baptist Praise & Worship Team 6:30-7:15 p.m.
Darby Picnic 7:45 -9 p.m.
Stacy Shown 9:15-10 p.m.
Ram Bighorn StageRam Restaurant and Brewery
Little Bill and the Bluenotes noon
Michael Crain Band 2 p.m.
Slim Wizzy 4 p.m.
The Fabulous Johnsons with Spike 6
The Blues Brothers 8 p.m.
The Swiss StageJack Hyde Park
Goose Hostage 11:30 a.m.-noon
Shaq Cat 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Mission 253 3:30-4 p.m.
The Melting Point 4:15-5 p.m.
Suite Clarity 5:15-6 p.m.
The Mystic Vines 6:15-7 p.m.
A Street Blues Band 7:15-7:45 p.m.
Groovy Voodoo 8-9 p.m.
America Be Strong Stage at Camp PatriotAdjacent to the Lobster Shop
John Leonard Band 11 a.m.
Hotdog eating contest noon
Rural Route 3 12:30 p.m.
Hotdog eating contest 3 p.m.
Star Spangled Karaoke 3:30 p.m.
Wing N’ Things 5:30 p.m.
Armed Forces Icon 8 p.m.
Katie Downs StageKatie Downs Tavern & Eatery
U253 (U2 tribute) noon-2:30 p.m.
Wasted on the Way (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute) 3-5:30 p.m.
The Infinity Project (Journey tribute) 6-8:30 p.m.