When you hear the crowd roar, they’ve arrived. Coming and going in an endless stream of bicycles, back and forth they strut their stuff – usually covered in paint using their bodies as a canvas for their creative muse. It’s living art. Some hardly seem nude. My favorites were the black and white symbiotic sisters, one with white dots over black, the other with black dots over white. Then the parade follows with all sorts of craziness. The giant octopus made me smile the widest.
Fremont was made for the Solstice Parade
Everyone in Seattle knows the Fremont neighborhood is whacky fun. Its most famous elements are the 18 ft troll that lives under the Aurora bridge, the 16 ft statue of Lenin someone personally imported after the fall of the USSR, the Interurban statue of people dressed up by whoever in whatever, the Brontosaurus and her baby dinosaur sculptured by some bushes down by the canal, or the building I can see from my porch that has a pinwheel on its roof. It’s all whimsical fun.
Then there are the constant stream of happenings – some planned annually, some newly formed, some spontaneously created. Such as the time last December on my walk to the market, I encountered throngs of Santa’s, seeming to be a cross between a pub-crawl and a flash mob. They took over Fremont.
The zombie parade has now had two annual events here.
Every summer we have an outdoor cinema using the blank white wall of one building, flanked by oversized portraits of Bogie and Bergman.
But the madness culminates every June with the Solstice Parade. All of Seattle comes to revel, participate, play, go wild, whatever. The highlight being the mass of nude bicyclists who now number in the hundreds.
I moved here for very different reasons: the large old growth trees that line my street coupled with a spectacular vista of the Olympic Mountains.
But it can’t be denied I’ve had plenty of laughs while living in Fremont, the self-proclaimed Center of the Universe.
The brochure says “It’s a place to let your inner spite out to play”.
The truth is I never know what I’m going to encounter when I head out my door. Keep me laughing Fremont!