Three days before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" in Washington, D.C., a representative for Comedy Central told TheWrap that the National Park Service has finally approved its permit application.
This is good news for the throngs of people expected to descend on the National Mall on Saturday. When the event was first announced by the Comedy Central duo in September, the Park Service said it had received an application that was in the process of being approved but had yet to be granted.
According to the original permit application, organizers were anticipating about 60,000 people to attend, but more than 300,000 have RSVP’d via the event’s Facebook page — with dozens of satellite rallies planned from Amsterdam to Mount Everest.
The Comedy Central rep declined to say how many people the network is now expecting. The Wall Street Journal, though, did some heady port-a-potty-math:
Comedy Central has ordered up 508 port-a-potties for its Saturday rally on the National Mall to be led by hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, suggesting organizers expect a crowd of 150,000 people. […]
The toilets will be coming from United Site Services, a Waldorf, Md., company that said it was providing 450 standalone restrooms, 50 units for handicapped users and one trailer with at least eight stalls.
Event organizers usually figure they’ll need 1 lavatory for every 300 attendees. (Want to know more? Check out this logistics breakdown from the Portable Sanitation Association International.)
All of which means there will probably be another partisan tussle over the final headcount. You’ll recall Glenn Beck’s evangelical “Restoring Honor” rally in August drew plenty of questions about crowd size, with estimates ranging from 78,000 to 500,000, depending on who was doing the counting.