Port to open waterfront pier for July 4 fireworks viewing

The Port of Bellingham plans open a former Georgia Pacific pier on the waterfront to serve as a public vantage point for the city’s July 4 fireworks display.

The new public access is the first of several opportunities port officials are arranging to give locals a better sense of how the former paper mill site will change and be redeveloped over the next decade.

“We are finally getting to the development stage, so it’s a great time to start some modest public access projects,” said Port Commissioner Michael McAuley, in a press release. “We hope folks will enjoy watching the fireworks from this new vantage point.”

For safety reasons, the Waterfront District pier will only accommodate about 1,000 people.

The Central Avenue entrance to the site, next to the Granary Building on Roeder Avenue, will open to pedestrians at 9:30 p.m., and people will walk along a designated route out to the former G-P pier for viewing, with the fireworks show starting around 10:30 p.m.

Because of its undeveloped nature, there is no vehicle access and no parking on the G-P site. Spectators can walk down to the site from numerous downtown parking lots.

Although the port is adding port-a-potties and trash and recycling bins to the pier for the event, there is no indoor or covered area.

People are welcome to bring coolers, food, drinks, lawn chairs, and other outdoor seating items with them to the viewing site.

No alcohol or personal fireworks will be allowed.

The waterfront viewing spot is in addition to the popular Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration at Zuanich Point Park, also sponsored by the port, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with free activities that include kids games, live music, an art show, vendors and more.

More information on the celebration is at www.bellingham.com.

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