Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Many places observe the summer solstice, which was yesterday, with (depending on the group) newspaper editorials or crop-planting blessings or coven celebrations. Seattle holds a parade. The Fremont Summer Solstice parade is famous for its 200 naked cyclists, who exuberantly greet summer wearing nothing but fanciful body paint. Fortunately, yeaterday's weather was warm. Here are a pack of naked cyclists, photographed at a discreet distance (also, I haven't yet figured out the zoom on my camera):

There were also naked skateboarders. The parade has three rules: no animals allowed, no words allowed, no motorized vehicles allowed. Otherwise, anything goes. Being Seattle, there was a strong emphasis on Going Green. Favorite floats included Sustainable Bullfighting, with a papier mache bull, and Save Your Rainwater. Since no words or banners are allowed, announcers along the parade route introduced each new group or float. My personal favorite was the belly dancers:


This is Phoenix Rising from the ashes of winter:


There is nothing like this in Rochester, NY, where I live. Most of us usually just say, "Oh, is it the summer solstice? Almost forgot!" But not in Seattle. Welcome, summer.

7 comments:

Magpie Girl said...

Hi Nancy. Nice coverage of the parade. Do you know it is all hand made by volunteers?! We've built and/or walked in it every year save this one since 2001.

I'm linking to your blog in my weekly editorial at BlogHer today. Thanks for the coverage.

Rachelle
MagpieGirl.com

King Rat said...

I need to park myself where you were next year. The crowd overwhelmed me from my vantage point.

Andrew said...

Glad to see you made it out! My favorite spot is the S-curve near the bridge; you get both full frontal (ahem) and sideways views as the parade goes by...

Brenda Cooper said...

Welcome to Seattle.....:)
Isn't this a lovely-weird place?

Orion said...

Rochester is pretty indifferent to the natural cycles of the year. We observe two seasons: Shoveling and Mowing. Like the ancient Romans, we don't even bother to count the sixty days or so of blecch between Halloween and New Year's Day.

The naked cyclists/skateboarders have me curious. Is public nudity legal in Seattle, or do you need a parade permit to bare all? It is hard to imagine anything like that in Rochester. Remember the fight about the right of women to sunbathe topless?

We could use a little more laid-back weirdness around here.

Nancy Kress said...

I'm told that no, nakedness is not usually permitted in public in Seattle. The parade is a special case.

bluesman miike Lindner said...

I was walking on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street last Sunday. Saw a bunch of skateboarders challenging the wind.

Alas, they left their flesh behind.