In ceremony originally scheduled for New Year's Eve, Carl Smool ignites fire sculptures at Seattle Center on March 19, 2000.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 2/17/2001
  • Essay 2989

On March 19, 2000, artist Carl Smool ignites 17 giant scuptures at Seattle Center as 10,000 watch. The "Hope and Dreams Fire Celebration" was originally planned for New Year's Eve festivities on December 31, 1999, but Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) and Seattle Center authorities postponed the event amid fears of Millennium terrorist attacks and anxieties over the December 1999 WTO protests.

The festival involved incineration of large papier-mache figures stuffed with thousands of slips of paper bearing New Year's wishes submitted by local citizens. The event was supposed to be the highlight of Seattle Center's celebration of the arrival of year 2000 and a "new" millennium on December 31, 1999, but it was postponed out of concern for public safety. The new date marked the end of winter on the eve of the vernal equinox.


The Seattle Times, December 23, 1999; Ibid., December 28, 1999; Ibid., January 1, 2000; Ibid., March 20, 2000.

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