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 morphed into 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 has evolved again into a trendy city neighborhood and high-technology center.  Each year I fear that the Solstice Celebration will be the last one.  In any cast the crowd had become so thick that I cannot photograph.

Fremont Solstice #06

Fremont Solstice #06

Fremont Solstice #04

Fremont Solstice #04

Fremont Solstice #113

Fremont Solstice #113

Fremont Solstice #99

Fremont Solstice #99

Fremont Solstice #80

Fremont Solstice #80

Fremont Solstice #67

Fremont Solstice #67

Fremont Solstice #44

Fremont Solstice #44

Fremont Solstice #57

Fremont Solstice #57

Fremont Solstice #01

Fremont Solstice #01

Fremont Solstice #15

Fremont Solstice #15

Fertility Float

Fremont Solstice #109

Fremont Solstice #109

Fremont Solstice #111

Fremont Solstice #111