The Firecracker 5000 is (as far as I know) Seattle's only midnight 5K. It is held every year at 11:59pm on the 3rd of July as a way to run-in independence day. I had a ton of fun and enjoyed the experience during the year that I participated. Costumes are highly encouraged; most runners get into the patriotic spirit and represent with some red, white, and blue.
The race itself is held at Seattle center. It's easy to drive to Seattle center at midnight (maybe the ONLY time of day that there is not traffic). However, parking in this area always presents a challenge, and traversing the I-99 corridor is always a pain in the neck. I recommend planning accordingly, and giving yourself a few extra minutes before the clock strikes midnight to get yourself situated.
The race begins and ends inside memorial stadium. Packet pickup and gear check are set up right on the field. The arena lights were shining brightly and pump-up music was playing on the PA which gave the whole pre-race preparation time a fun, festive feel. I arrived a little early, so I had time to apply some star-spangled facepaint, and observe all of the costumes as I stretched.
The course is a quick loop around Seattle center. Part of the route runs past some of the Belltown bars. It was hilarious to watch the reactions of people outside the bars as we ran past. It was fun to get cheered on by some inebriated onlookers. A few guys even offered me a beer as I ran past (I declined). There weren't any aid stations along the course (unless you count the guys offering up beer), but seeing as this race is only a 5K I wasn't expecting any. If you absolutely needed something to see you through you could probably stop into a bar on your way towards the finish. There is one challenging hill right before the finish in memorial stadium.
The after-race activities continued on the field at memorial stadium. There was music, they presented the ages group awards, and prizes were given out for best costume. Bananas and coconut water were available. I waited for my friends to finish, but I didn't stick around too long (12:30 am is WAY past my bedtime).
The finisher's shirt for this race was a really cool design featuring fireworks around the Space Needle. The shirt was a cotton T-shirt, not a tech tee. I normally donate cotton race shirts (the last thing I need is ANOTHER t-shirt), but I kept this one. I like the design, AND it glows in the dark!
Pro-Motion puts on several events around the Seattle area, they are always well organized and HIGHLY enjoyable. The Firecracker 5K was no exception! Running at midnight was a great way to start off the Fourth of July festivities