Seattle Parks Dept. Expects Big Crowd for Sanity Rally

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In Washington D.C., "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" is expected to draw tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people to the Washington Mall this Saturday. The satellite "Rally to Restore Sanity Seattle" event won't have Jon Stewart there or Jeff Tweedy from Wilco or Mavis Staples the famous soul singer, but the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department still thinks that thousands of fanatically moderate sanity seekers will show up at Westlake Park, despite the forecasted rain and the 9 am early start time.

Jeff Hodges, Seattle's senior parks events scheduler says he's expecting 4,000 to 5,000 people at Saturday's rally, though he says those numbers "could easily explode."

"I'm guessing with the popularity of Jon Stewart that there will be a big crowd," he says. "The weather can be an issue, but we're Seattleites we deal with rain all the time. We have contingency plans should the numbers get bigger than expected."

The permit that event organizers attained to host the event cost $105. The discounted price is typically granted to political events, as they deal in the sacred ground of the First Amendment.

Seattle Police Spokesman Mark Jamieson wouldn't comment on how many police will be patrolling, other than to say it's "there are rallies and protests every day in Seattle. This is just another event that we'll be there for."

Whatever kind of crowd shows up, the numbers are not likely to be subjected the kind of intense political analysis that its main D.C. event will be. Stewart's rally has been often labeled as a response to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on Aug. 28, and partisan pundits are closely watching its turnout to jaw off about its implications on the Nov. 2 elections.

In Seattle, the event will likely be more about having a good time and a few laughs. And with local comics Chris Alpine, Kermet Apio, David Crowe, Travis Simmons, and Cathy Sorbo on hand, that likely wont be difficult to accomplish.

 
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