Space Needle prepares to ring in the New Year

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by CHRISTIE JOHNSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 30, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 30 at 3:53 PM

Preparations are underway at the Space Needle in Seattle for Saturday night's New Year's at the Needle celebration.

An 11-man crew spends four days installing 1,700 firing cues that will result in over 10,000 shots being fired off during the eight minute and fifteen second show on New Year's Eve.
 
"We shoot from over 64 different locations. We're all over the Needle," said said Ian Gilfillan, the show's executive producer. "The challenge is just getting all of those pieces in the correct place, all hooked together with cabling and hooked up to a computer."
 
Fireworks are installed on the sloped roof at the top of the Needle, at the 200 level and on the Skyline Level. They are also installed in trap doors in the core, the shaft that runs up the center, that allow producers to shoot fireworks horizontally from the structure.
 
"We have 30 different locations in the core spread out between the saucer roof of the Space Needle and the 100-foot level. We have windows that have been cut into the safety cage in here, and a pre-loaded firework device gets mounted into each window," said Gilfillan.
 
This year's theme is "Space Exploration" in honor of the Space Needle's 50th anniversary.
 
"We are going to lift off a rocket, so it's very important to hear the music the minute before midnight because it's a real space launch countdown," said Alberto Navarro, artistic director and creator of the show.
 
If you cannot be at the Space Needle to watch the fireworks live, you can catch the live broadcast on KING 5 starting at 11:35 pm.
 

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