The Tea Party in Olympia has just broken up. Slated as one of the biggest in the state, the event lived up to its billing. The Washington State Patrol estimates that between 4,000 and 5,000 people packed the Capitol Campus, covering the Capitol steps and spilling out onto the lawn and nearby streets.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation spokesperson Scott St. Clair said the event had a festive atmosphere, much like it was a public holiday.
"We had no idea so many would come out," St. Clair said over the phone. "There were hundreds of signs - some of them pretty witty - kids, old people, families. It was kind of like a political convention with signs from this city and that across the state. This is the people taking back their government."EFF sponsored the "No Tax - Push Back" rally in conjunction with the BIAW, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. However, the event was transformed thanks to the nationwide Tea Party movement.
A spokesman for the State Patrol's campus office, Sgt. Ted DeHart, said the event was orderly and festive with "no hints of trouble". He also did not see anything in the way of counter-protestors in the crowd.
"One of the long-term employees at the Capitol said it was the largest event he had seen in several years," DeHart added.
Apparently the State Patrol also took aerial photos of the event in order to use them as a measure how to gauge the size of future events.
(The Seattle Weekly will be covering events at the Westlake Tea Party rally today at 5:30)