I’m not sure that Seattle’s Fremont district is still the (self-proclaimed) Center of the Universe that it was some years ago, but the Fremont Arts Council’s annual Solstice Parade is still the best quirky, Boho party in the city. And the fabulous Ice Queens are one of the many reasons to catch this festive Seattle arts tradition.
With standout sculptures like Waiting for the Interurban (which locals regularly dress in new clothes), the Fremont Troll, and a massive statue of Lenin from the former Soviet Union, Fremont is a perfect place for a parade that doesn’t allow any written or printed words or logos nor any motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs). And then there are those famous naked bicyclists, although I think they call it street theater.
Tonight the Ice Queen Ensemble had a preview party in Fremont, where the numerous queens were modeling their wildly extravagant creations made primarily out of coffee filters. In a bright, airy space in Fremont with colorful walls and electronica music, the Ice Queens put the finishing touches on their costumes while posing for many pictures. (I think there were almost as many of us photographers as costumes.)
“What’s with the antlers?” I ask Ice Queen Lesley. All their headgear is festooned with red antlers.
“Our theme is based on the Finnish Solstice tradition,” she says. I guess that has something to do with reindeer. I love that these creative women have brought these artistic visions to fruition.
With music playing, cameras clicking, and people swaying, I could just drift right into the equinox. Here in the northern half of the Northern Hemisphere, of course we celebrate the longest day of the year. Whether you go to the Fremont Solstice Parade, or just watch the sunset behind the Olympic Mountains or the Pacific Ocean, have a great Solstice!
When You Go
The Fremont Solstice Parade starts at noon on Saturday, June 18, although the nekked painted cyclists begin riding the route at 11:45. Here is a link to a PDF map of the parade route. I don’t recommend trying to drive and park in Fremont unless you go really early. Hop on a Metro bus or bicycle there instead.