New Year’s fireworks returning to Space Needle, but not for in-person viewing

SEATTLE — Though fireworks will return to the Space Needle on New Year’s Eve, the plan is to “stream in the New Year” with a display that will be augmented with special effects that can only be seen when watching it via a live stream or TV broadcast.

The idea is to keep people safe at home or watch parties without gathering in crowds at Seattle Center. No events are being held at the Space Needle, and public viewing and crowds at Seattle Center are not allowed, the Space Needle said on its website.

A list of watch parties at local businesses will be updated regularly until New Year’s Eve at spaceneedle.com/newyears.

According to a news release from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office, an exclusion zone will be in place to ensure live fireworks safety and visitors should expect progressively limited access to Seattle Center grounds from entryways near the Space Needle and east/west through the campus starting at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Those who are in the area during the fireworks show will see a smaller fireworks display and lighting effects, while those viewing it virtually will experience a show with digital animation, special effects and music. Here’s how to watch.

For those looking for other New Year’s Eve fun on Seattle Center grounds, there are several ticketed events including Patton Oswalt, Dave Chappelle and the INDULGENCE New Year’s Eve Bash!

Because of those events, the Mercer Parking Garage and 5th Avenue North Garage will remain open, and the Monorail will be available, with the last train to Seattle Center leaving downtown at 10:30 p.m. and the last train to downtown leaving Seattle Center at 1 a.m.

The Seattle Center Armory, including public restrooms, will also be open. Restaurants inside the Food & Event Hall will be open until 11:30 p.m.