The Seattle Solstice Parade

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This year I attended the Fremont Fair Solstice Parade for the first time since I was a kid. I remember street performers, naked people on bikes covered in body paint, vendors, and tolerable crowds of people. This year’s experience flopped horribly which is why I’d like to simultaneously share my recommendations on how to properly enjoy it for future years while providing you with a first hand account of what the Fremont solstice parade is about.   

When in doubt GET THERE EARLY 

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Traffic will undoubtedly be awful. Since it’s summer time, other events are also likely to be happening the same weekend.

Not only was I-5 a parking lot, but I forgot that the Rock and Roll Marathon was the same day meaning that 99 North was closed (the quickest route from my house to Fremont).

With my late start and the traffic delay, I did not stand a chance of finding a good place to stand. I arrived right as the naked bike riders started the parade and there were already tens of thousands of people crowding the sidewalks and sidelines of the parade route. It was chaos!

Location, Location, Location

I had assumed that my horrible experience was attributed to my late arrival… This isn’t entirely true. The area surrounding the start of the parade proved to be about 1500 times more crowded than the end of the race near Gasworks Park. I parked at a friend’s house on Fremont Ave. North and walked down to Fremont Ave. North and North 36th Street. It was mayhem. My friends across town walked from Wallingford down to Gasworks Park where they enjoyed an open view of the parade as well as a nice grassy place to sit and toss a frisbee. (JEALOUS!).

Don’t want to elbow your way to the front? Bring a handy-dandy… wait, is that a ladder?!

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I was surprised to see several cleaver people who must be experiences parade goers because they knew that it would be impossible to find a vantage point to see over the crowds of people to the performers. Their solution? Create a vantage point of their own! I saw step stools, milk crates, and my favorite… a full-sized latter! How brilliant!

Gain the rights to claim that you helped produce the parade!

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All you have to do is make a donation! Performers carried around these collection hats with handy-dandy reach sticks. The collectors announced that you can feel free to claim that you helped produce the parade and all you have to do is make a donation!

If you follow these tips and tricks you are bound to enjoy the parade more so than I did and kick off the first day of summer on the best foot! 🙂

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2 comments on “The Seattle Solstice Parade

  1. Lindsey, What a launch to the summer season! I’ve been to lots of parades, but this is the first time I’ve seen ladders used – pretty inventive. When we were at the Love Parade in Berlin lots of people used stilts to get above the crowds – pretty brave! 🙂 ~Terri

    • elstadl says:

      Hi Terri,
      Yes, it was great but hopefully future years will yield a better experience for me now that I know what not to do :p Looks like I better start practicing my stilt walking! – Lindsey

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