This year's Capitol Hill Block Party is the first since the city finally got rid of archaic rules regulating teen dances. It's also the first since the Washington State Court of Appeals killed a Seattle ban on posters. In other words, this year's Block Party is a celebration of sorts, marking the two biggest political changes affecting Seattle's music scene in years.

The teen dance rules took center stage during last year's Block Party, when several politicians gave great speeches about opening up venues around town to music fans of all ages--especially kids. But first, the politicians explained, they'd need to kill the nefarious 1985 Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO), which placed burdensome rules on events that mingled teens with folks over 21. Soon afterward, in August, the city council did dump the TDO by passing the All Ages Dance Ordinance (despite City Council Member Margaret Pageler's last-ditch efforts to sink the legislation). And this time, the mayor signed it. (When the council tried to ditch the TDO in 2000, then-Mayor Paul Schell vetoed the repeal.) While there hasn't exactly been an explosion of all-ages venues or events around town since August, the change in the law was still important: Local politicians recognized that Seattle has a great music scene, and kids should have access to it.

And you may have noticed that this year's Block Party was advertised with posters all over town (if you could see them under all the other sheets of 11-by-17-inch Astrobright paper coating local telephone poles). That's because the city's 1994 poster ban was declared unconstitutional in August, sparking a proliferation of posters advertising everything from available practice space to upcoming shows; a particularly notable sign declaring "Fuck Mark Sidran: This Poster Is Legal!!!" succinctly kicked off the wave and rubbed it in the face of former city attorney Sidran, who drafted the ban. Unfortunately, Seattle's current city attorney, Tom Carr, is appealing the August decision.

So stay tuned: Here's hoping that when next year's Block Party rolls around, we can keep postering this town red, and inviting the kids to come out and dance with the grownups.