Netflix kicked off 2019 in style with the announcement of the long-awaited Stranger Things season 3 release date. Fans had been waiting with bated breath for the return of the beloved sci-fi/horror series, but season 3 was pushed back more than a year after the second season aired in fall 2017. Now Stranger Things fans can finally look forward to the show’s return, but in a new patriotic setting: summer 1985.

The premiere date was announced via a short New Year’s Eve-themed teaser in which Dick Clark’s countdown to 1985 gets turned, well, upside down.

Stranger Things Season 3 Release Date Announcement

The long-awaited Stranger Things season 3 release date is here, set for July 4, 2019, more than a year after season 2 aired in fall 2017. It was previously speculated that the series would be delayed to summer 2019, a rumor that was confirmed by Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland, who said in July that the show’s producers “really want to take the time to get it right,” and that season 3 would be “worth the wait.”

There’s no new footage in the Stranger Things season 3 release date announcement, but the New Year’s themed teaser seems chock full of hidden clues. References to the Starcourt Mall that we saw in the first teaser! Code with the message “When blue and yellow meet in the west!” Something about Silver Cat Feeds! It sounds like gibberish, but a resourceful Reddit user (via AV Club) managed to decipher this riddle, which they realized was connected to the Stranger Things tie-in book. Morse code from the book translated to this little poem:

“the week is long

the silver cat feeds

when blue and yellow meet

in the west

a trip to china sounds nice

if you tread lightly”

What does it all mean! I have no idea, but you have time to try to analyze it — either by reading it backwards, theorizing about time-bending twists, or maybe guessing whether it has something do with with clocks.

But the streaming giant does offer us more than those cryptic clues. Netflix also released a poster of the gang watching Fourth of July fireworks, with the ominous tagline “one summer can change everything.” Only Eleven seems to be frightened of something strange coming to Hawkins that summer, while Dustin, Max, and Lucas all excitedly watching the fireworks while poor Mike just wants to hold his girlfriend’s hand.

Check out the Season 3 poster below.

Stranger Things season 3 returns on Netflix on July 4, 2019.

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