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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

July 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

What’s that waving from the Space Needle?

seafairflagraisingholmoday072409m.jpg6:33 a.m. [View larger]
This morning I went up to the flat roof at the top of the Space Needle, where about 30 journalists and Seafair officials gathered at 6:30 a.m. to witness former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and longtime voice of the hydros Pat O’Day raise the Seafair flag. “Having it be the 60th Seafair anniversary, it was a perfect reason to have the flag up,” Seafair’s CEO Beth Knox told me a few minutes before I sketched the summer festival co-grand marshals at work.
It’s the first time the Seafair flag gets the coveted display. Many organizations put in requests to advertise their logos from the Space Needle, but it has to be a special occasion and something that involves civic pride. It’s only done about four times a year, explained Mack Hooman, the facilities manager. The Seafair flag measures 20 by 30 feet and weighs about 35 pounds.
holmegrenonneedle072409m.jpg6:19 a.m. [View larger]
I was hoping for striking views of the city that I would show you in my sketches. But it was completely foggy. We were inside a cloud. So you’ll have to imagine a skyline behind Mike Holmgren, who was being interviewed by a reporter as I drew this.
goingdownneedle072409m.jpg7:11 a.m. [View larger]
Besides the historic nature of the event, going up the set of 14, 18 and 9-steps ladders that lead to the 850-square-foot roof top was also worth getting up early. The first two ladders have a slight angle, but the last one was completely vertical. In the sketch above you can see Mike Holmgren stepping down after the event was over.
Note: I hope to update this post later with a ground-level sketch that will show the flag waving. Right now there’s not enough wind and you can barely see it.
Seattle Sketcher at Seafair
I’ll be sketching at the Ballard SeafoodFest on Saturday. Look for my drawings here late in the day and in Sunday’s local section.
More Seafair sketches
A street full of fun at Snohomish Kla Ha Ya Days
Kla Ha Ya Days, so much to do and so much to draw
Seafair Pirates swarm Alki

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