Happy New Year! The clock is ticking down to 2014, and the preparations for fireworks off the Space Needle are underway. A heads up – secure you Lower Queen Anne/Uptown parking spot tomorrow (Wednesday) early in the day, or you may lose it for the night.
Curb-side parking is free on New Year’s Day, and the city is advising drivers “who indulge in too many holiday spirits” on New Year’s Eve to leave their car on the street and take a cab or public transit home. They can return for their car the next morning when parking is free (assuming they’re paid up for the 31st and legally parked).
The city expects 15,000 people for the Space Needle fireworks, and it’ll be closing the following streets from 11:30 until 45 minutes after the 7-minute firework display to end, to allow for crowds to dissipate:
5th Ave N between Mercer St and Denny Way
Broad Street between 5th Ave N and Denny Way
Find a good viewpoint on Queen Anne for the fireworks, and Happy New Year!
As part of the ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle, Bartell Drugs has launched “Rocket to the Top of the Space Needle” – beginning today, November 19th, Bartell is offering vouchers for free visits to the holiday-themed Space Needle Observation Deck that can be used through December 30th.
Bartell Drugs is offering vouchers for one free adult or up to two free youth tickets, and all you have to do to redeem them is purchase one full-fare Adult Observation Deck ticket when you arrive at the Needle. Vouchers are available at Bartell Drugs locations while supplies last (so, plan ahead).
Fifty years ago, Seattle hosted the party of a lifetime, the 1962 World’s Fair. Starting tomorrow, join Seattle Center for the massive opening weekend of The Next Fifty– six packed months of activities, events, and attractions celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
A host of distinguished guests and live entertainment greet The Next Fifty in a celebratory opening ceremony starting at 10:30am. The afternoon offers live music and dance performances, free admission to the Swing Ride and Monkey Motion from noon to 4:30 pm, children’s activities, mobile food vendors, beer garden, NASA’s Driven to Explore Exhibit, Emerald City Search kick-off, skateboarding party, and many more free, festive, and fun activities to round out The Next Fifty Opening Day.
Bartell Drugs, sponsors of The Next Fifty Opening Day, are hosting a nifty little shop selling vintage keepsakes and photo products celebrating the 50th anniversary of Seattle World’s Fair and Seattle Center. Items include original Space Needle ballpoint pens, retailing for $10 (limited to stock on hand). This vintage collectible item was manufactured in Seattle 50 years ago, and will be available at multiple Bartell Drugs locations by May 1.
Many of the planned events, including most exhibits and weekend gatherings, are free and open to the public.
The Space Needle’s 50th anniversary is this Saturday, April 21, and they’re going retro in more ways than their Galaxy Gold roof. The doors open early (7:30 AM!) with $1 admission, the original price in ‘62, while supplies last.
Tickets will be good for a 1-hr time block. Supplies are limited and tickets will sell out fast, so arrive early to secure admission. Then stick around for the ‘60s DJ, retro-souvenirs, and photo opportunities with “Elvis.” For a small donation, visitors can also enjoy a special Space Needle 50th Anniversary donut, created by Mighty-O Donuts. Come celebrate with us!
The Space Needle gets decked out in its original Galaxy Gold color for the festivities (photo courtesy the Space Needle’s Facebook):
4 p.m. – Chef Demo with Metropolitan Market Chef Amy Pinkis, who will be teaching market goers how to make fresh mozzarella (and later, homemade ricotta), and how to concoct delicious dishes that highlight the fresh-made cheese
4 p.m. – Kid’s Mozzarella Pull
5 p.m. – Live Music with returning market favorite The Canote Brothers (be sure to bring your dancing shoes!)
5:30 p.m. – Chef Demo part two with Met Market’s Amy Pinkis, this time teaching market goers how to make their own homemade ricotta cheese and integrate it into interesting recipes
Check out what’s fresh at the market this week here
As always the Queen Anne Farmers Market will take place from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at W Crockett Street and Queen Anne Ave N. The Interbay Farmers Market will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Interbay Urban Center, located at 1819 15th Ave. W.
One of the most notable patrons and philanthropists of the Queen Anne and greater Seattle arts community, Bagley Wright, died at the age of 87 after suffering a heart attack on Monday night, according to a report by The Seattle Times.
Bagley and Virginia Wright at a “Capote” party in Seattle, 1966. Photo credit: Photo by Dave Potts, Courtesy of the SeattlePI Collection, MOHAI.
Wright moved to Seattle in 1956 with his wife Virginia Bloedel, whose family owned a successful Northwest timber business, and quickly got to work developing what have since become some of the city’s greatest artistic institutions. At the time Seattle’s arts scene was regarded as ‘cultural backwater,’ the Times writes, and Wright took it upon himself to change that. “He understood that a great city had to have great cultural institutions,” his son Charlie Wright told the Times.
And change it he did. The influential philanthropist and developer founded the Seattle Repertory Theatre here in Queen Anne, helped transform the Seattle Art Museum (where his son Charlie now sits as chairman of the board) from a boutique gallery in Volunteer Park to a downtown destination, and had a hand in building the Space Needle, undoubtedly the city’s most iconic landmark. The Wrights were also the first major investors in Benaroya Hall.
“He really planted the first seeds of a vibrant cultural life in Seattle that we all take for granted now,” local arts consultant Susan Trapnell told the Times. “He’s really been an essential donor and supporter of almost every major arts organization in the city.”
From the Times:
In addition to his wife, Mr. Wright is survived by his brother, Dan Wright, of Greenwich, Conn.; sons Charlie Wright, of Seattle and Bing Wright, of New York City; daughters Merrill Wright, of Seattle, and Robin Wright, of San Francisco; as well as 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“We have a great family, thanks to him, and it’s a great comfort. We did have a good time together. Nobody was better company than Bagley. I’ll miss him no end,” Mrs. Wright told the Times.
It certainly has been a strange summer. After weeks of of waiting for summer to arrive, it finally warmed up and gave us some sun, only to take it away and slap us with 60-degree weather and 75 percent humidity. And then today Queen Anne woke up to blue skies and an almost opaque bank of fog covering Elliott Bay. When I walked to my car this morning, this is what I saw:
The Space Needle buried in fog. Quite a beautiful sight, and one more reason to love living in Queen Anne. Even still, let’s hope the foggy mornings dissipate and the sunshine stays a while.
As of 12:30 p.m. Friday the Space Needle was just a little over $12,000 shy of its $50,000 fundraising goal, which if met, will mean the Pride flag will once again fly atop the Needle after leading the Pride Parade to PrideFest at Seattle Center Sunday. So far $37,610.27 has been raised, which will go toward supporting four local charities: The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Scholarship Program, Lambda Legal, It Gets Better for the Trevor Project and Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children.
But whether or not the Needle sports the rainbow flag at this year’s PrideFest, the city and Seattle Center will be full of Pride all weekend long. Interested in catching some fun Pride events this weekend? Check out the highlights:
Armistead Maupin reading at Seattle Public Library – Saturday, June 25 3 to 4:30 p.m.
PrideFest and Seattle Public Library welcome best-selling author Armistead Maupin for a special Pride book reading from his latest novel, Maryann in Autumn, and a conversation on the very gay world of Tales of the City. Saturday, June 25 3-4:30pm, with book signing afterwards. Entry is free but space is limited. FREE TICKETS AVAILABLE JUNE 1 at BrownPaperTickets for Book Reading.
Concert for Equality at Seattle Center – Saturday, June 25 6 p.m.
A ticketed concert with national talent, and 100% of net proceeds to benefit Equal Rights Washington. At the Mural Amphitheatre at Seattle Center. Crystal Bowersox, Thelma Houston, BETTY. An amazing show with world-class artists! GET TICKETS AND MORE INFO
Annual Red Pride Party – Satuday, June 25 9 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Our annual RED Party has been the party destination for men every Pride, this year with Seattle favorite DJ Brian Gorr, and this year we’re adding a women’s party to our roster with Spinderella at Baltic Room. This is a big year and we can’t wait to roll out all the fun. GET MORE INFO – TICKETS ON SALE NOW
PridePrade – Sunday, June 26 11 a.m.
The Downtown Pride Parade is a spectacle to behold! It runs along 4th Avenue to the Seattle Center, and is produced by Seattle Out and Proud. Full info at seattlepride.org.
Seattle PrideFest at Seattle Center – Sunday, June 26 12 to 8 p.m.
The largest free pride festival in the country! Noon-8pm, 3 stages, national and local artists, non-profits, beer gardens, fun.
But the Needle caught some flack this month after rumors circulated that the organization did not plan to raise the flag again this year, catching the attention of national progressive organization Change.org, as well as a number of local and national media outlets. With Seattle Pride fast approaching at the end of the month, many in the community spoke out, urging the Needle to again raise the flag.
After an outpouring of support for the flag over the last two weeks, the Space Needle changed its stance this week, announcing that it would raise the flag again, if the greater Seattle community agreed to take on a fundraising challenge: “If the community can raise $50,000 for 4 local charities, the Space Needle will raise the Rainbow Flag on Sunday of Seattle Pride weekend in Seattle,” the Needle wrote in a press release Monday (.pdf).
“We want to harness the enthusiasm that has built up to raise the flag for the encore performance. Our entire community gets involved in whatever issue is at hand and we think that is what makes us so strong. This challenge can reap great benefits for these worthwhile organizations,” said Space Needle LLC Chairman Jeff Wright in the statement.
The $50,000 raised, assuming the challenge is met, will be divided equally between four local charities: The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Scholarship Program, Lambda Legal, It Gets Better for the Trevor Project and Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children. The Space Needle has kicked off the challenge by offering an inaugural donation of $5,000. From the press release:
The Rainbow Flag, flown last year on the Space Needle, will lead the Seattle Pride Parade this year and, if the community challenge is met, it will be raised on the Space Needle when the Parade ends at Seattle Center on Sunday, June 26th. The Seattle Parade has grown in stature for several years now and holds a prominent position on the national scene.
Seattle Out and Proud, the organization behind Seattle Pride weekend, has already responded to the Space Needle’s challenge, partnering with the organization to help raise the funds. [Read more →]
The exhibit is slated to be built just west of the Space Needle on the site of the Fun Forest pavilion. The plan calls for a glass atrium of about 5,600 square feet to be constructed on the east side of the pavilion, according to the DPD decision. The building will also be renovated to add about 3,350 square feet of floor area for retail and lobby space, and about 250 square feet for an entry vestibule. In addition, a garden and walkways will be constructed in the exhibit’s accompanying outdoor spaces.
The application was approved on the condition that construction activities other than that taking place within enclosed floors will be limited to non-holiday weekdays between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to reduce the noise impact of construction on nearby properties.