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The sold-out GeekWire Gala is tonight! For the over 500 of you who signed up, we’ve decked the Great Hall (at Seattle’s historic Union Station) and we’re looking forward to ringing in the season with you.

The festivities run from 6-8 p.m. at 401 S. Jackson St. but the doors (and bar) will open early if you’d like to join us right after work. (We’ll be recognizing the top 25 GeekWire Newsmakers of the Year in a special VIP ceremony at 5 p.m.).

Check this list (twice) as you prepare to party.

Seattle's Union Station, site of the GeekWire Gala

Attire for this gala? No need to get formal. Fancy if you like, and flying your GeekWire red, white and black is a bonus. That said, we will have a “best dressed” contest and fame and prizes await those selected by our panel!

Toys for Tots: Bring a new soft toy to donate for Toys for Tots!  We’re topping off Jenni Hogan’s mobile tweetup in support of this charity, and the first hundred guests to show up with a donation get an extra drink ticket courtesy of Heinz Marketing.

Hopelink: Please bring a canned good to the Facebook party station so you can exchange it for sweet swag!

Parking/transit: Union Station Garage (Directions) Enter on 4th Avenue. This garage will be open until 10 PM (and the party officially ends at 8:00 PM). If you stay for the entire party the ticket will be $13 (pay by the hour). Please don’t park in spots that say “no parking, your car will be towed,” as they mean it (the 422 spots in the lot should accommodate most of our guests).

Take the elevator from the garage and choose either entrance to the “Great Hall.” Check-in is on the Jackson Street side.

Other alternatives include pay lots at 5th & Jackson, 4th & Jackson, 6th & King, as well as street parking along 5th and throughout the International District.

For our Metro-riding geeks, the Union Station is only a block from the venue (hence the name)!

Last but not least, our good friends at Uber are offering a $20 off gift card as a parting gift, and if you’d like to travel in style either to or from the gala, use the discount code GWGALA for 10 percent off!

Twitter: Hash tag #gwgala.

Eat: The evening will be festive without being a formal sit-down affair; hors d’oeuvres will be passed and we’ll feature a tasty buffet.  “Heavy apps” include chicken satay, teriyaki meatball lollipops, spanikopita, mac and cheese, and more.

Drink: With your admission you’ll also receive a drink ticket from GeekWire. The first 100 guests to arrive with a new toy donation for the Toys for Tots drive will also receive an extra cocktail, as will those who encounter emissaries from a galaxy far, far away.

The bar is CASH ONLY. Only cash and drink tickets will be accepted. If you don’t have cash and find yourself needing extra drinks, our black-scarf clad volunteers will be stationed near the bar. They can swipe your credit card for additional drink tickets, which can be redeemed at the bar for beverages.

And be merry: Check out the activities at our sponsor-hosted party stations!

  • Platinum sponsor Zillow will accessorize the first 500 cocktails at the gala with our region’s de facto mascot: the umbrella. Take these colorful little bumbershoots to the Zillow HQ (by the stage) and redeem yours for a prize, perhaps a head-covering one. While you’re there, put your company on the map – literally!  Throughout the evening we’ll create a heat-map of the region’s tech businesses, as you pin-point your company’s location on a giant street map of the Puget Sound.
  • As seen on TV, making the most of “National Go for Broke” day, gold sponsor Bing will bring a cash-grab booth, filled with funny money. Step into this self-contained wind-tunnel and grab as many faux-benjamins as you can. Redeem this “cash” for prizes and at the end of the night. The guest with the stickiest fingers will be awarded an Xbox 360 with Kinect.
  • A long time ago, in a GALAxy far, far away … gold sponsor Filter will celebrate National Star Wars day in style! Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers are offering a custom cocktail glass and a free drink ticket for the first 100 people to visit the Mos Eisley-inspired cantina.
  • Since ’tis the season for geeks giving back, Gold sponsor King5 will video the affair and interview our guests…be ready with your 60 second pitch on folks who’ve inspired you.
  • Snap a photo at silver sponsor Facebook‘s booth, and it will appear instantly on your Facebook timeline as a real-time memento of the evening. Feeling lucky? Drop off your business card at silver sponsor thePlatform’s table, and you could be one of two winners of an Apple TV.
  • Feeling lucky? Drop off your business card at silver sponsor thePlatform‘s table, and you could be one of two winners of an Apple TV.
  • Last but not least, strut your geeky stuff over to the Startup Weekend station, dazzle them with your trivial knowledge and win a copy of their new book.

Looking forward to seeing all of you tonight!

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