The Solstice Parade in Seattle is as wonderful as always

Actually the parade is in Fremont, which is part of Seattle (Arguably one of the most special parts of Seattle). The Solstice Parade is produced by the Fremont Arts Council every year on the Summer Solstice. I believe it is one of the most remarkable parades that exists. Its freedom from corporate sponsors and its commitment to raw, celebratory Life is unique. It brightens my creative soul every time I attend.

The parade is preceded by more naked bike riders than I’d even try counting… some in body makeup and costumes, some without. The remarkable aspect is not the riders themselves but the crowds of cheering spectators lining both sides of the road. Families with children. I cannot imagine my parents taking me to any event featuring naked people. It would have been life changing if they had. So many of us carry embedded shame for bodies that are simply part of our human nature. There is something cathartic about seeing a healthy attitude towards this core piece of self. My book Olly Olly Oxen Frey is in many ways about that journey of finding peace with our physical bodies.

My favorite part of the parade was the Flying Spaghetti Monster, though I must confess that I lean towards Pastafarian beliefs. I may be biased. Their sacred colander helmets always make me smile.

Giant puppets of many flavors were delightful. Being a puppet maker myself I always find these creations particularly marvelous. I’d never considered the Chinese dragons at Chinese New Year’s festival as puppets, but a giant Axolotyl helped me to see them in a fresh light. Definitely a puppet.

I’ll have to leave some of this musing till I get home again. Time is short and I need to be on my way. I’ve been visiting the Seattle area on a regular basis since 1988. It’s one of those places with a special place in my heart. I’ve so much family in the area, I’ve always had an eye to settle here eventually. Time will tell… I’m up here a lot these days.

I naturally visited Ophelia’s Books. It’s a regular pilgrimage when I’m in the area. It’s a store in which you find books that you didn’t know you needed. I found a wonderful book of conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin on writing. Truly wonderful. And quite practical.

I also discovered Charlie’s Queer Books on this trip. I was told it opened last November. Well worth taking the time to visit. It is open and airy and full of shelves to explore. It is just a couple of doors down from Fremont Coffee Company, which is a lucky spot to find delicious food. Buy a book at Charlie’s then go curl up in a corner with something good from Fremont Coffee Co.

This visit to Charlie’s found me a middle grade book: The Mossheart’s Promise. I’m looking forward to exploring its pages. At the moment I am deep into the extraordinary Why In Paris? set during the WW2 Nazi occupation and I’ll be ready for something lighter once I’m done. I’ll be sure to post it to The Purple Fantastic if I think you might like it. Naturally, if you can’t get to Charlie’s Queer Books in person, you can explore their books online. Might as well buy your books from family if you can! (photo of the shop to the left is from photographer, Gia Rassier)

Here are some more shots from the Solstice Parade.


Share your thoughts