Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Fremont Solstice Parade

For those of you who are not familiar with Fremont, let me try to explain it. Fremont is a city within the city of Seattle. This self-proclaimed "center of the universe" is known for it's free spirits, free thinkers, and downright funky style. In the center of their city is a hulking statue of Lenin - yes that Russian guy- a statue from the former USSR, representing a tongue in cheek antithesis of the spirit of this urban hippie culture.
Twenty years ago the artsy folks of Fremont decided to have a parade. About 300 people watched it. This is it's 20th year, and tens of thousands, perhaps a hundred thousand, came to participate in the fun fest. The rules of the parade are also unconventional: no printed words or logos, no motorized vehicles, no live animals, and no weapons. Needless to say, there were no fire trucks or police cars, no motorcycles or military honor guards. There were people dressed in strange costumes, or no costumes at all. Paint sometimes replaced clothing; others let it all hang out. There were dancers of all sorts, as exemplified by the belly dancers, where some were dancers and some had notable bellies. The meaning of the costumes was sometimes known only to the creators, but they were always interesting. Not much candy was thrown, no balloons or other trinkets were for sale, but hugs were given freely. A band playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow gave the song special meaning. Puppets signifying What? were amusing and ingenious. The parade even had a tractor of sorts, for those of you rural folks used to having them in your parades.
There were a few political messages given by word of mouth (no signs, remember). A large, reclining replica of the Statue of Liberty born of the shoulders of many signified that liberty is a heavy burden that must be shouldered by us all. An accompanying "waitress" was taking orders for the "bill of rights". Of course the legalized cannabis supporters were there.
It was a crowded but fun experience, and a good reminder that having freedom and liberty for all also requires tolerance.
Happy Summer.


  1. Oh wow! Oh wowow, Linda! Freemont is certainly a free town.
    I'm up waiting for the laundry to dry so we can pack it and just wanted to say, "Hi!" I loved this posting. What fun! I'm sure glad I have you for a cyberfriend.

  2. Corey from Colorada here! What's wrong with dem dar folks?

    Interesting culture down there, yesiree bob.

  3. Looks like it was very exciting!!And fun!!

  4. well somehow i missed this my computer down time. still waiting for it to be fixed. my son lives in seattle and is one of those free spirits. its certainly a unique place.


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