Posted on February 10, 2011 at 8:13 PM
SEATTLE-- It has been held on the Seattle waterfront for all but one of the past 19 years. Now, organizers of the annual Seattle Hempfest festival are fighting to keep it there, filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court over the city’s refusal to grant permits.
Planned summer construction of the sky-bridge in Myrtle Edwards Park, the location of Hempfest since 1995, displaced the mammoth event which routinely draws more than 100,000 attendees annually. The project hasn’t yet been sent out to bid.
Organizers searched for an alternative venue in Seattle but haven’t found one.
Seattle Hempfest is a two-day event dedicated to education and reform of marijuana law. This year is scheduled to be the festival’s 20th anniversary. The event costs nearly $300,000 to produce each year and does not charge admission.
Hempfest also sued the city in 2006 when construction of the Olympic Sculpture Park threatened to close Myrtle Edwards Park. The city and Hempfest organizers reached an agreement and the lawsuit was withdrawn.