About "The Fremont Solstice Celebration"
Fremont is a Seattle neighborhood just north of the canal that connects Lake Union to Puget Sound. Once a blue-collar area of ship fitters and chandlers, stevedores, and fishermen it is now the hub of a vibrant arts-and-crafts neighborhood of galleries, ateliers, and live/work studios.
It’s annual solstice celebration is legendary even among the many wonderful, eccentric festivals that are one of the reasons I love Seattle. Held on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, it is three days of music, dancing, food, drink, an extravagant street fair and on Saturday a parade — the hit of the celebration — followed by a pageant.
The parade, usually well over two hours long, has only a few rules: no motorized floats or vehicles, no commercial sponsorship, no printed material or signs. It is goofy amalgam of Mardi Gras and an old-fashioned neighborhood parade. People from toddlers to grandparents turn out in outrageous costumes (or lack thereof), on elaborate human-powered floats, on bicycles, unicycles, tandems, stilts, skateboards, and on foot.
Fremont is evolving into a trendy city neighborhood and high-technology center. Each year I fear that the Solstice Celebration will be the last one — or that the crowd will become so thick that I cannot photograph.