The much-celebrated Solstice Parade is a burst of individual inspiration and community genius. It’s a noisy, pulsing throng of floats, giant puppets, stilt walkers, music makers, weirdly wonderful marching bands, dancers and costumed performing theme ensembles.
The usual suspects
Brainchild of founders Barbara Luecke and Peter Toms, the Solstice Parade was inspired by a celebration originally observed in Santa Barbara. Since its beginning in 1989, the Fremont Solstice Parade has been held every year on the Saturday of Summer Solstice weekend. This wildly imaginative and colorful “Mardi Gras” style parade is the signature event of the Fremont Arts Council. The Arts Council is a grass-roots public service group which has promoted creative activities in the neighborhood since its beginnings in1978.
Mischief, Mayhem and Home-Grown Creativity
The parade invites everyone and anyone who is interested to participate. The event attracts kids, seniors, and folks from diverse neighborhoods and ethnic backgrounds from all over Seattle and beyond, encouraging them to express their talents and pitch in just for the fun of it. The Arts Council facilitates participants of this seasonal madness by offering work space, tools, materials, workshops, advice, support and volunteer leadership. The event has a simple code: No live animals, motor vehicles, written words or logos are permitted in the parade. However, controversial subject matter and outrageous treatment are heartily encouraged. The result is an entertaining and endlessly varied event whose irreverence, inventiveness and impressive technical expertise keep it fresh from year to year. The Solstice Parade attracts tens of thousands of spectators and kicks off the annual Fremont Fair – a lively weekend of performances, fun, concerts and street fair festivities throughout downtown Fremont.
The Art of Celebration and Vice Versa: A Brief History of The Fremont Arts Council
From its world headquarters at The Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Avenue North, the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) has played a leading role in transforming the once-depressed Fremont neighborhood into a funky, larger-than-life arts mecca and the Center of the Universe. In its early years, FAC helped to solicit and administer grants for community arts and training programs. One of the groups more notable projects was the installation of the “Waiting For the Interurban” statuary in 1978. In the late 80′s the focus shifted more toward the celebration arts and the art of celebration. By 1990 FAC had successfully funded and produced its second major piece of public art. The world-famous Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge; all the while continuing to evolve the Solstice Parade, establish the Troll-O-Ween event (held each year on Halloween), and reach out to like-minded artists around the globe, promoting the zany creative spirit which abounds in the community. Members of the Arts Council are suspected to have been involved in many major art installations and several anonymous Art Attacks (spontaneous installations) throughout the land.
FAC’s commitment to sharing creative energies worldwide has launched recent embassies to Taiwan, Turkey, and the counterculture city of Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as regular participation in kindred celebrations across the U.S. and Canada.
Meet the Fun Part of this Amazing Neighborhood
Drop in to any of the Fremont Arts Council public meetings held at the Powerhouse on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:10 pm. For more information call (206) 547-7440 or visit the Fremont Arts Council website.