- Fireworks over the city of Seattle via Shutterstock
Seattle's annual 4th of July fireworks show on Lake Union is back from the dead, thanks to the support of Microsoft, Amazon, and an online casino game company called Doubledown Interactive, announced Mayor Mike McGinn at a press conference today.
Starbucks, Wells Fargo, and Toms Douglas Restaurants are also major sponsors.
Looming like a spectre over the announcement was "The Great Recession," which McGinn referred to several times as the cause of the show's cancellation. One Reel announced on April 1 that it was discontinuing the 4th of July show following a failed fundraising drive. The nonprofit struggled to pay for the program after Washington Mutual, previously the title sponsor of the show, filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
"We had a situation where traditionally there was one corporate sponsor underwriting the whole thing," McGinn explained. "When that sponsorship went away with the Great Recession, they were put into the position of fundraising and that wasn't a good fit." One Reel also organizes our annual Bumbershoot festival.
At this point, it's unclear how the change in management will affect the day's events. SeaFair has stepped in as the show's new producer and committed to hosting a beer garden, music, and food at Gasworks Park, but no one mentioned if there will still be kids' games and activities before the show. Reporters pressed Maud Daudon, President of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, to reveal the event's budget. "I don't think that's relevant at this point," she said, but she admitted a new fireworks company is contracted to put on the 20-minute show at lower cost.
"We haven't cut back things," she insisted. "We're using new partners committed to making this work."
Mayor McGinn said he's waiving parks and barricading fees. Security will also be stepped up, he added, in light of the Boston bombings.
The show will combine "the patriotic element with the artistic element," Daudon explained, "so it will be a different show, but will be just as good." Whatever that means.
Still: Fireworks! Take that, America haters!