Story and video by Randall G. Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
More than 90 participants of all ages kicked off tonight’s Highland Park New Year’s Blast (and Potluck!) by marching in the Not-So-Silent Night Parade.
Armed with assorted noise-making devices and papier-maché lanterns, children and adults set out from the Highland Park Improvement Club on a several-block march through the surrounding neighborhood, stopping traffic and bringing people out onto their front porches and yards to exchange shouted wishes for a “Happy New Year.”
Dan Mullins served as a sort of de-facto grand marshal of the procession, with tonight marking the third annual New Year’s Eve noise-making march, though he noted that the neighborhood has been gathering for community events on the last day of the year for 91 years.
Awaiting the group in the parking lot of the club afterward was another relatively new tradition for the holiday: the “Sage Comet.”
Former Cirque de Flambé member Chris Huson was joined by Rory Denovan in a fireball-twirling display, adding a bit of heat to the chilly evening air.
Wearing kilts as a nod to the tradition’s Scottish “Hogmanay” roots, the men spun flaming wire cages in large circles around them. Despite the name given the event, “Sage Comet,” it was bits of Christmas trees and rosemary set aflame by another Cirque alum, known only as “Tricky Bunny.”
Keeping with the family-orientation of the evening, Huson and Denovan were attended by their wives — Kristin Huson and Becca Fong –donning black robes and holding tall torches in front of the gathered crowd, lending an air of ritual to the proceedings.
Once the flames had burned out, revellers were invited back into the club for a potluck dinner and a night of live music from four bands, promising to carry the festivities securely into 2012.
With a solid attendance already on hand for the early part of the night, HPIC secretary Julie Schickling expected as many as 150 people might attend throughout the evening.