Solstice in Seattle


Summer Solstice seems to be the perfect time to visit Seattle. I arrived from NYC late Friday night and have enjoyed a festive weekend celebrating the holiday in this city.

We met up with some friends on Saturday for Solstice party in Fremont. After partaking in the breakfast of champions, we followed our friends down to the parade where I was told there would be many naked people. Sure enough, the first thing we saw on the parade route was tons of naked bicyclists. Most of them were covered in body paint, some very impressive designs. The bikers proved to be just the beginning of a very colorful event.

parade2.jpg parade3.jpg

Following the naked bikers came slave-carried pyramids and bellydancing Egyptians. Though I have to admit, I was a bigger fan of the Indian dancers that came later on. Throughout the event, various political groups showed their views, which mostly involved Bush and Cheney in jail stripes (met with cheers from the crowd). Environmentalists asked onlookers for recyclables and donations. Possibly the most impressive costumes were those of the Tree People. Complete with moss and leaves, they finished off the parade like a group of Ents marching to Isengard. Definitely a worthwhile event.

Then today, walking around downtown Fremont, we discovered a street fair, also celebrating the Summer Solstice. Booths of organic clothing, artwork from local artists, henna tattoo artists, filled the streets. Live music, funnel cake, roasted corn. I had never really thought of summer solstice as a holiday before spending it in Seattle.


6 Comments so far

  1. esse (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    Wow sounds like some good wholesome fun. I might have to go next year! Now I’m wondering about the Winter Solstice.

  2. Katarina (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

    As a used-to-be ren-group member and an ex tree hugger I would have to be the first one to attest that every ‘nature’ related affair is not complete unless it contains a generous portion of naked people. THIS is universally understood as a show of originality. Painted if you’r lucky… ‘As Is’ if you’r not.
    None of it really has to do with recycling or conservation or even “deep dark wisdom” – just an aesthetically challenged fishing for attention. Same way girls are sudenly prone to dress like a cross between a pole dancer and an anime character during Halloween. Funnel cake and any number of drummers are also aparently imperative for the pleasing of she who is the goddess and the mother earth. If you can get your hands on a few pounds of silver meaningfully shaped jewelry (pentagrams, celtic knotwork and glass eyes – you mean business) you are sure to command respect and interest of peers and some older man with VW buses for weeks to come.

  3. Tony B. (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 9:28 am

    I wish the solstice was a different weekend in June. I miss it every year to do an annual Father’s Day Beerfest out in Kenmore. I’d love to go to the solstice too, but beer always wins out for me.

  4. Anita Rowland (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 10:44 am

    The Fremont Arts Council (they org the parade and have workshops and classes to help you put your parade entry together) also has had a winter solstice feast — it’s a volunteer appreciation art party so joining FAC and working ahead of time and/or after is expected. I’ve been a few times and it was fun!

  5. katarina (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

    Were you nekkid? :P

  6. Jeanna (unregistered) on June 19th, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    @ Tony B.: I do this same thing every year. Saturday=Solstice Parade and festival. Sunday=Beer fest in Kenmore. They’re too different days, eh? Come on! Summer Solstice Festival isn’t something you can miss! I look forward to it every year…

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