New Year's at Kerry Park

Maybe you're a Friend of Bill W, maybe you've resolved to imbibe less in the new year, maybe you want to avoid all those bottled calories, or maybe you just don't want to be surrounded by drunken yahoos when the clock strikes twelve. Regardless of your reasons for celebrating a dry New Year's Eve, the best and soberest vantage point for Seattle's city lights and the Space Needle fireworks show is on the south prow of Queen Anne Hill, in Kerry Park. A cold, clear night offers the classic panorama of Seattle and Elliott Bay, but you actually want a high, light cloud cover to bounce the fireworks' light back down. With each burst and flare, the cloud canopy fills and pulses with light—cotton suddenly become cotton candy. It's like the skies are being seeded with color. Take along a thermos of hot cider along with your mittens and hat to claim a good vantage point at the railing. The park fills with revelers each New Year who Oooh! and Ahhh! at the fireworks display. There are ritual kisses in the winter air, whoops and hollers of delight, and a few discreetly raised glasses of champagne. (The cops have got better places to patrol for rowdies, like Joe's, above.) And if you really want a drink to celebrate afterward, just stumble down the hill to Peso's. BRIAN MILLER

Sat., Dec. 31, 2011

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