Soap Lake Lava Lamp: The History Of a 60 Foot Lava Lamp

December 21, 2018

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. At least that is the philosophy of a group of persistent residents and public officials of Soap Lake, Washington who are continuing their quest to build a 60-foot Soap Lake lava lamp in the heart of the town’s center.

You will find this Eastern Washington town next to the famous Soap Lake, serving as the main tourist attraction. Composed of naturally mineralized water, the lake is known for its unique healing powers. In fact, the lake can help to soothe a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as muscle aches and pains. With a variety of interesting things to see and do in the area, the massive lava lamp will only serve to attract even more visitors to the idyllic Soap Lake–at least according to some.

An Idea Was Born

In an effort to boost the economy and increase the tourist appeal of Soap Lake, a group of residents hatched this idea to build the lava lamp as a beacon welcoming visitors to their hometown. According to retiree resident Burr Beckwith, “Basically, it’s an idea that won’t die. There’s a certain magic about this lamp, so the lamp could be like the Space Needle is for Seattle.”

Since the early 2000s, the town and its officials have been fervently working on the project, despite many failed attempts and changes to the original construction plan. Although the plan has suffered many setbacks, many officials remain cautiously optimistic that the idea will eventually reach full fruition. Soap Lake’s former mayor Wayne Hovde emphasizes that the “lava lamp will happen in Soap Lake. When? I can’t tell you, but it will happen.”

Attempt #1: A Gift from Target

The original lamp was a gift to the town by the Target Corporation after it’s performance in an advertising campaign in New York City’s Town Square. Andy Kovach, an architect from Everett, told Seattle Times, “The entire town’s behind it. It’s phenomenal.” However, despite city-wide excitement, it became quickly apparent that this lamp would not be a viable option because it was too costly to reconstruct. The pieces to the lava lamp came on the back of 6 flatbed trucks without any assembly instruction. There were also some missing and unusable parts.

Plus, the heat of the large lava lamp became a major point of concern. The original idea was to fill the lava lamp with real bubbling goo that resembled a much larger version of this eclectic 70’s decor. After researching further, it seemed that in order to pull off this incredible feat, they would have to raise a lot more funding than originally thought to pull this incredible engineering feat.

At this point, it was back to the drawing board.

Attempt #2: A Digital Display

Now that heated bubbling lava was out of the question, the lamp’s advocates and promoters had to get creative. At this point, a new idea came about. What if projection technology was used to mimic the activity of a lava lamp? Kovach designed the city’s next big idea.

This new structure will use a combination of high-efficiency solar cell energy partnered with fabric tension to create the lamp itself. Then, innovative laser projection technology will replicate how a table lava lamp operates! The lasers will work to deliver an impressive light show and images through the rear projection screen. The shows will begin at dusk, treating visitors to a dazzling spectacle of lights that will change with the season.

After the show concludes, the lamp will remain softly aglow throughout the night and dormant during the daytime. The lava lamp will be the centerpiece of the town’s many seasonal celebrations with special shows to commemorate holidays and events such as the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, Winterfest, Smokiam Days, and more.

An Unforeseen Future

It remains to be seen when the lamp will finally set the sky aglow. But, Soap Lake residents remain committed to the dream. After all, an idea that has existed for almost 20 years deserves an ending, right? But, giant lava lamp or not, Soap Lake shares a community, lifestyle, and therapeutic atmosphere unlike anywhere else. While you’re waiting for the Soap Lake lava lamp to appear, take a visit to this idyllic, mineralized lake!

To experience the natural beauty of the region, book a room at Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort! This premium lakeside resort is located right on the shoreline of Soap Lake. This provides easy access to the healing waters and mud baths, as well as the future Soap Lake lava lamp! Our team of welcoming staff members invite you to book your room here today or call us at (509) 246-0462 for more information on how the Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort can provide the perfect getaway.