Where to Watch July 4th 2016 Fireworks in NW Washington

North Sound Washingtonians don't have to drive to Seattle for fireworks on the 4th of July. We've got plenty of options in the northwest corner of the state, from Skagit County to the Canadian border. Here are five of the best fireworks shows in the Northwest.

Head on out to the seaside town of Anacortes for family fun on July 4th. Anacortes will be celebrating all day, with a parade starting at 11am and fireworks show at dusk. Show up early with blankets and lawn chairs for front row seating at Seafarers Memorial Park. Snag a perch atop Cap Sante, or try the new outdoor seating at Anthony's Cabana. Either way, you'll have a great view of the fireworks over Fidalgo Bay.

Big Lake
The community of Big Lake is gearing up for its 53rd annual 3rd of July fireworks show in 2016. Organized by the Big Lake Volunteer Fire Department, the fireworks show has been Big Lake's biggest annual event for decades. Each year, they float a barge in the middle of the lake for the best visibility. There are few public viewing areas, so you'll need an invite to join this party. Purchase a wristband (by donation) to support the local fire department.

Skagit Speedway
One of the best (and most unique) fireworks shows in northwest Washington is put on by Skagit Speedway. Attendees enjoy sprint car racing before the show. For those who've never been, expect lots of dirt, noise, and maybe a crash or two at this Midseason Championship on July 9. After the race, fireworks explode overhead to the tune of great American country music. Think: "We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way." It doesn't get more Skagit County than this, folks. Tickets are required, and there's not a bad seat in the house.

A long-time Bellingham tradition, the Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration is an all-day party featuring live music, vendors, games, and a beer garden. This one goes down at Zuanich Point Park. Show up early for a seat on the lawn - it gets packed - and ride the shuttle, carpool, walk or bike in. Post-event traffic is as bad as the fireworks show is good.

Celebrate Independence Day near the Canadian border in Blaine. All-day festivities include a pancake breakfast and car show, street fair and parade, live music and a whole lot more. Claim a spot at Blaine Marine Park for the fireworks, which commence at 10:15pm. Or simply bring your passport and hop the border instead. Because nothing says "independence" like the freedom to escape America at will.

Brandon Fralic is a Bellingham-based freelance writer. With a focus on the outdoors, travel, and craft beer, he contributes to a handful of publications including Washington Trails, WhatcomTalk, and Outdoor Project.