Photo of 2019 Three Tree Point Fireworks show by Elston Hill.

The Three Tree Point fireworks show – usually launched from a barge anchored in Puget Sound at night on the 4th of July – have been canceled again, this time due to increased costs and a ‘tepid response’ from the community.

This will be the second year in a row without this local fireworks show, with the last one being held in 2019 (read our previous coverage here).

Other activities in the neighborhood will likely continue though, such as a community breakfast, flag raising ceremony, kids parade, live music and more.

According to organizers, the cost of fireworks had jumped from $23,000 to $40,000 – a nearly 74 percent increase – and an amount that didn’t include all other costs (like police, road signs, barricades, garbage, permits, sponsor’s party, etc.), totaling for a rough estimate of $55,000. Previous fundraisers ranged from $25-35,000 (NOTE: when B-Town Blog Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer served as co-chair of the 3TP Fireworks Fund from 2012-13, the total budget was around $28,000).

The 2022 estimate was also for a show that would’ve been held at a lower cost than on the 4th, on Saturday, July 2.

“We investigated other potential alternatives such as lasers and realized that this too was almost equally expensive and the companies we called back in February, were already booked for this Summer,” organizers said.

The 2020 show was canceled on Feb. 27, 2020, and was one of the earliest cancellations in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One major factor that year was that fireworks manufacturers’ output was affected by the pandemic in China.

According to the 3TP Facebook page, the annual fireworks event was originally started by the Miller family as a gift to the Three Tree Point community. Eventually it grew into several days of activities and family fun that included a pancake breakfast, kids games, flag raising and awards, kids bike parade, donor party and a barge-based, high-altitude fireworks show. Funds were raised by neighbors to ensure all the permits, insurance, police security, vendors and more for the firework show and donor party.

Organizers added that it was also getting harder to find volunteers to help.

“On a side note, the number of volunteers helping with raising funds and assisting with organizing the event significantly decreased,” they said. “If you are interested in participating supporting the TTP fireworks, lasers, or a pre-4th of July party for 2023, please let us know.”

If you’d like to volunteer for future Three Tree Point events, please email [email protected].

And for reference, here’s a video shot by Schaefer of the Three Tree Point fireworks show on July 4, 2011:

Here’s full text of an email sent out to Three Tree Point neighbors on May 31:

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Happy almost Summer!

As you can imagine, Three Tree Point won’t be hosting its 4th of July fireworks show this year (this doesn’t include all other activities – which we have heard will take place informally).

After reaching out to the community, we received a rather tepid response regarding the continuation of the fireworks tradition. Most people who replied to our initial email thought it was time to pull the plug on fireworks altogether.

As you recall from our last communication, the cost of fireworks had jumped from $23,000 to $40,000, an amount which didn’t include all other costs (police, road signs, barricades, garbage, permits, sponsor’s party…) totaling a rough estimate of $55,000. This was also for a show on the 2nd of July!

We investigated other potential alternatives such as lasers and realized that this too was almost equally expensive and the companies we called back in February, were already booked for this Summer.

On a side note, the number of volunteers helping with raising funds and assisting with organizing the event significantly decreased. If you are interested in participating supporting the TTP fireworks, lasers, or a pre-4th of July party for 2023, please let us know.

Sincerely,
The Three Tree Point Committee