Surprise fireworks show startles central Puget Sound residents

Monday, September 18, 2023

This is our fireworks show
Photo by Lee Lageschulte

By Diane Hettrick

At first people thought it was thunder, but it went on too long. 

Around 9:30pm on Saturday night, September 16, 2023, the noise started. Some recognized it as fireworks immediately, but others were confused.  New Year's Eve and the 4th of July are typical occasions for fireworks and there is usually some warning for local festivals.

It went on for 45 minutes, while dogs cowered and retired soldiers dealt with their PTSD.

Every westside neighborhood was treated to the noise and some areas by Lake Washington could also hear the explosions.

As it turned out, it was a private show from a barge moored off the south end of Bainbridge Island. The only announcement was from the Bainbridge Island fire department two days before

The display was located outside of Bainbridge Island’s jurisdictional area and is under the jurisdiction of the United States Coast Guard.
This event is similar to a display held last year. The commercial operator, retained by a private entity for the event, holds a General Display Fireworks License and Pyrotechnic Operator License issued by the Fire Protection Bureau of the Washington State Patrol. 

Appropriate permits have been issued by the Seattle Fire Department for the loading of fireworks and with U.S. Coast Guard approval for a Marine Event. No additional permits are required.

You can expect noise associated with commercial fireworks that evening beginning around 9:30pm. Please do not call 911 with any complaints. Let's keep those lines open for emergency reporting.

If you could see it, it was a spectacular display. The West Seattle Blog followed the story as it was happening and published a photo of the display - well worth checking out. (article here)

The fireworks company is not divulging the name of their client, just that it is a private party. Nor are they sharing the occasion. It could be a birthday or Mexican Independence Day which was on the 16th and is celebrated with fireworks. Either way, it was a private celebration which went noisily public, shared with thousands of people.


Anonymous,  September 18, 2023 at 7:23 AM  

My guess is it's for Bill Gates oldest daughter's bday.. who else could afford it all every year

Anonymous,  September 18, 2023 at 5:04 PM  

My dog was shivering with terror half the night. If I had two days of warning I could have left town for a few days. Some self important inconsiderate person can have a private show anytime he/she likes I guess. We need new laws, I’ve had enough and I think many others have too.

Anonymous,  September 18, 2023 at 10:50 PM  

So rich people can lawfully cause deafening distressing disturbances because …. They are rich?

Anonymous,  September 19, 2023 at 6:15 PM  

Privileged schmucks scared dogs and disturbed the peace

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