ORIGINAL 12:20 PM REPORT: Huge crowd here at Seacrest for the season-kickoff party celebrating the return of the King County Water Taxi (which actually started its 2009 runs a few hours ago, as shown in our earlier coverage). King County Council Chair Dow Constantine – who’s got a touch of laryngitis – is speaking right now, joking that when they decided to start the season a month earlier, they figured the weather would be bad. Guess what!
That’s the big crowd on board as the KCWT left a few minutes ago. Free rides all day – lines are long – parking’s tough (“a nightmare,” one man complained into his cell phone as he walked by) – so take the free shuttle bus. (As Constantine is mentioning right now, the shuttles now have distinct numbers so you can tell which shuttle is going where – a point of confusion in years gone by, whether the bus was going to Alki or The Junction.) Free treats and live music down here, too, in addition to the free sunshine.
ADDED 1:12 PM: More from the party – here’s the fireboat putting on a show a few minutes ago:
Also just had a Coast Guard chopper flyby, though maybe just a coincidence:
And some video – County Council Chair Constantine with the weather remark we mentioned above:
Plus a photo from Constantine’s Twitter stream, as he walked down to get on board:
2:52 PM UPDATE: Party’s over, more photos to add – first, at the other side of Constantine’s round trip, he chatted with other riders as they disembarked:
Yet another megaline awaited the next sailing, with a reminder in the foreground that Seacrest is also home to Alki Kayak Tours:
At the head of the line, bottom of the steel ramp that meets the wooden floating dock, a feathered greeter:
Besides the rebranded Water Taxi and shuttle buses, you’ll see the new sign at Seacrest too:
The free rides continue till the last run of the night, which is at 7 pm; here’s the schedule. Then the weekday schedule kicks in tomorrow (and the weather is expected to be spectacular – we’re glad to hear it, since we have a couple stories to cover downtown in the morning – no need to take the car!).
4:18 PM: Last addition, a clip of the fireboat’s spray show:
And dozens more photos of today’s event are up on the Ferry District’s Flickr pages, here.
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