Our audience, you’ll see, brightens the festivities,
Whether the weather of ’77 fails to give us grace,
Or we’re gathered for Sarducci’s vows beneath this Chinese custom,
Theirs is red, ours is purple, folded within its copper case.

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Bumbershoot Connection

The centerpiece around which this clue was built is the tremendous audience Bumbershoot attracts each year! As many as 250,000 or more people have attended the festival, and they often come rain or shine, including in 1977 when the opening ceremonies had to be cancelled due to severe rain. The clue also refers to the fact that Father Guido Sarducci came in 1994 and performed several weddings atop a wedding cake stage. Later in the festival the giant wedding cake was ceremonially burned, marking the last “burn” the Bumbershoot did during the festival.

Clue Theme: Umbrella

Our second line refers to the weather directly, and the fact that the ’77 Festival was inundated with rain hence the need for a sturdy umbrella or ‘bumbershoot,’ the festival’s namesake. We also confirm this by referring to the Chinese wedding custom for a bridesmaid to provide a red umbrella to the wedding party, thereby helping to ward off evil spirits! ‘Our’ umbrella is purple instead of red like the Chinese wedding umbrellas should tip that cap that this year’s prize is purple and additionally is to be found folded inside a copper container.