Side-by-side shows make for sparkling 3rd of July event at Lake Ballinger

Ballinger Lake Park was packed on Wednesday for family fun and fireworks at the annual Mountlake Terrace 3rd of July Stars and Stripes Celebration. This is the fourth year for the event, which included games, pony rides, food vendors, face painting, carnival games and more.

A South County Fire vehicle was parked for kids to tour, and there were also water walking balls and pony rides — plus a pie-eating contest, gunny sack races and live music. Mariah Belgrod, a Seattle-based iHeartRadio Award Nominee and pop recording artist, also performed.

The 3rd of July event included a highly-anticipated fireworks show over Lake Ballinger, with an additional show added 600 feet away from the original location.

John Shafer, a Western Display Fireworks pyrotechnician, said he was able to use a wireless system to launch the fireworks from two locations. This year’s performance — the biggest ever done by his team — lasted a half hour and included more than 400 four-inch shells, Shafer said.

“It’s pretty intense and it’s a lot of fun when you get in that close,” he said.

Using a handheld remote, Shafer said he was able to send up fireworks from both locations for the big finale.

“Since all of it is a mirror image it fires them to sync simultaneously,” he said.

The event was sponsored by Cheeseburger Babies Foundation, the charitable arm of Red Onion Cafe and Seafood Bar, and supported by sponsors DD Meats, Sierra Construction Company, Lake Union Partners, Fischer Plumbing, Landsverk Quality Homes, Haider Construction, Gutterking, Roger’s Market Redevelopment Group, Homestreet Bank, Ace Hardware, Sorelli Pizza, Grand Pere Bakery, Sprout Birth Center, Calvary Fellowship, South County Firefighters Foundation, MLT Police Guild, US Army, Studio 6, Community Transit, Creekside Church,  MLTnews, Emerald City Harley Davidson, Mountlake Terrace Plaza, North Queens Drill Team, and Honor Care Adult Family Home.

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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