Ticket sales for the July 14 Summer Celebration fireworks cruise began on Monday — with an added Francophone twist, according to sponsors.
This year's cruise has been renamed the "Bastille Day - Summer Celebration Fireworks Cruise" by sponsors and the in recognition of the event's timing with the French equivalent of Independence Day. Mercer Island's sister city is Thonon les Bains, France.
"It's very convenient," said councilwoman Jane Mayer Brahm, a past-president of the sister city association.
For $50, 100 passengers will board the Argosy Cruise Lines Ship "Celebrations" at 7 p.m. and set sail from the Luther Burbank Park Pier at 7:30 p.m. The ship will circumnavigate Mercer Island and offer desserts, a raffle with prizes sponsored by and a no-host bar to guests before returning to the East Channel of Lake Washington to watch the fireworks show.
The show, put on for years by Western International Fireworks, features nearly 400 rockets — some as large as 4-inches in diameter — launched from a barge in Lake Washington off Luther Burbank Park, approximately 600 feet off shore.
The city cut funding for the fireworks in 2010 but community members, groups and corporate sponsors have managed to preserve the show again in 2012.
Brahm said the money raised will be dedicated to the high school scholarship funds run by each organization — the Chamber offers a scholarship through Mercer Island High School's DECA Club and the Sister City Association through MIHS's French Department.
To purchase tickets for the Fireworks Cruise, call the Chamber office at (206) 232-3404 or go online to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/244149.
The City Parks and Recreation Department is also sponsoring boat rides around the island earlier on Saturday, July 14. The daytime cruises are co-sponsored by . The following information was found on the city's website:
The rides are about an hour and a half in length. During the ride there will be a narration when you will have the chance to learn about the island's history and other interesting factoids.
Summer Celebration Daytime Cruises
Where: Luther Burbank Park Dock
When: Three departure times: 11:00 am (boarding at 10:30 am) 1:00 pm (boarding at 12:30 pm) 3:00 pm (boarding at 2:30 pm)
To purchase daylight cruises, call 206.275.7609 with MasterCard or Visa or visit the front counter of the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, 8236 SE 24th Street. Tickets on sale at the Community & Event Center until closing on Friday, July 13th
Ticket Prices: Under 18 - $10.00; 18 and Over - $15.00
Cash Bar available.