SEATTLE -- Friday marked the first anniversary of the day Washington's legal marijuana law took effect, and hundreds of people celebrated by lighting up beneath the Space Needle at a party permitted by the city of Seattle.

The party kicked off at 4:20 Friday afternoon, the time typically associated with marijuana. By the time the party ended around 11pm, about 500 people passed through two enclosed areas.

Because of the cold temperatures, most of the smoking occurred with just elbow room inside a tent, filling the small area with clouds of smoke.

It's a very pivotal moment in state history right now because we re literally pioneering the way into the national legalization for pot, Jonny Little said.

Double barriers enclosed the party, separating it from several other events nearby, oriented toward families and children. The organizers of the pot party obtained a special permit for the event, since smoking marijuana in public is still illegal.

Many called the party a political statement, their fight only beginning, even if their celebrations is well underway.

I'm here to celebrate one step closer to ending marijuana prohibition. I m here to celebrate cannabis, said Poppy Sidhu.

Marijuana activist Ben Livingston says it took him three months to persuade city officials to grant him the permit, which was amended on Thursday to double the party's capacity to 999 people.

Other events scheduled Friday night at the Seattle Center included the Winterfest holiday lighting celebration, a Pacific Northwest Ballet performance of the Nutcracker and a Pearl Jam concert.

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