June 26, 2013

Solstice weekend: The Fremont Solstice Parade, and a birthday dinner

Not your ordinary marching band-members.

Every year the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle hosts a Solstice party. Fremont, otherwise known as the Center of the Universe, is not your ordinary neighborhood — it's a little weirder than most places.


One of the big events at the Solstice Fair is the parade. I've written about the Fremont Fair nude bikers, and the floats, in the past so I won't go into too many details here, but I'll tell you that the parade is not your ordinary public event.

The parade starts with about 200 nude bicyclists, and continues with a couple of hours of bands and floats. The floats must be manually pulled because this is a very ecologically-oriented eventno motor vehicles allowed.


You might think the ladies on the left are wearing bathing suits. They're not.

Most bicyclists wear costumes made from paint — some so clever that you might not notice the rider is stark naked — and others choose to ride au naturel, or with polka dots or hearts, or something. Although their costumes weren't the flashiest, the two women wearing "bathing attire" were among my favorites this year. Their painted-on suits were hilariously realistic, though you probably shouldn't try this at a public beach.


Many of the costumes are quite complex and require props.


And I noticed at least two dogs riding in this year's parade.


This was the first time I've been to the Solstice parade when it wasn't drizzling and cool, and it was much harder to get good photos in the blinding light. The parade was moved to 3 p.m., and the sun was high in the sky, creating difficulties. Miss E, a true child of the PNW, was complaining about the heat — a blistering 75˚. Ha.


Miss E's brother, Little E was attending his first Solstice Parade, and was quite amenable to both the heat and the commotion.


Eventually, though, he needed a little nap to refresh from the hard work of watching the parade.

The parade goes on for a couple of hours but we needed to leave long before it ended. The fair has lots of interesting booths and events that you can read about on the Web page. I've barely scratched the surface of the three-day event.

The parade was on Saturday, and my husband's birthday was on Sunday. This year, our middle son and his partner hosted the family birthday celebration. It was a delicious affair with everyone contributing food. Taryn brought a delicious tapenade with crackers, and a great salad with homegrown lettuce. Kate made a wonderful dal and Aaron made irresistible roasted cauliflower. I brought cake.


I was so into eating the terrific food that I completely forgot about taking photos until all that remained was a little bit of dal in my bowl.


I made the cake — a gluten-free chocolate chip cake — and my oldest son gets the credit for photographing it. If you think the candle doesn't look quite right, perhaps you can remind me to buy some birthday candles. The cake is one I make often because it always works, and Miss E likes it. It's covered with a simple ganache made by heating 1/2 cup of almond milk to a low boil, removing the pan from the heat, then adding 3/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips and stirring until they are melted. I let it cool for 10 minutes then gently and slowly poured the chocolate over the cake, in thin layers. I put the cake into the fridge to solidify the chocolate.

If you would like to see more images from the Solstice parade, here are a few links to earlier posts:

Father's Day | Birthday | Fremont Solstice parade (nudity alert) -2010

Simple GF pancakes | Naked Solstice fun -2012

The Vegg | Cookbook love | Solstice parade part 2 -2012


20 comments:

  1. I remember your past posts about the nude parade...it is so crazy! And I think I say every year that I cannot imagine biking in the nude. That just seems wrong. And awkward. And painful, lol. More power to the people who do, I guess!

    We have often had similar non-birthday candles stuck in birthday cakes at family celebrations. I think it gives the cake character :-) Happy birthday to your hubby!

    Courtney

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    1. Well, you probably won't ever find me riding in the parade, but it's a lot of fun to watch. The participants are irreverent and the crowd appreciative. Some of the costumes are so creative and humorous. Among my favorites this year were the women wearing "bathing attire" complete with inner tubes. At first glance their suits were so realistic it was astonishing.

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  2. I really can't believe the paint jobs on the bikers! Some of them really look like clothing. It is very impressive!

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    1. I know. I didn't get as many good photos as I have in the past, but some of the paint jobs are pretty imaginative.

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  3. wow this looks so cool! i would have loved to go!

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    1. It's a pretty wild experience, and I sort of wish I were uninhibited enough to join in. But I'm not. I'd love to play in one of the bands, though. :)

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  4. I remember when you blogged about the parade last year and was glad to see that you covered it again. It sounds like so much fun!

    Happy birthday to your husband!!

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    1. I thought that last year there was a nude bike ride in Madison, but it's nothing like the one here. It really is fun to watch — the costumes are so clever.

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  5. I love how some of the paraders took the time to make a clever camouflage. Happy birthday to Hubs!

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    1. Some are really clever while others let it all hang out. I'd need a mask.

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  6. What a great parade! The painted bikers look amazing, and I love the dog on the skateboard. :) Thanks for sharing your pictures.

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    1. I never get tired of attending the Solstice parade — especially the bicycle fun — so many clever costumes. This year we missed most of the floats and bands so I'll have to take more photos next time!

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  7. How awesome is that? And I was freaked out by a runner in a thong at my half marathon a few weeks ago--haha. These are fab! Wish I lived in the center of the universe.

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    1. One runner in a thong is different from 200 naked people on bicycles. I'd probably be freaked out too. When everyone is wearing nothing but paint, it seems completely normal — especially if you're in the center of the universe. :)

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  8. That looks like so much fun! I don't think I'd have the guts to do it myself, but can only respect all of those cleverly-painted types who do!

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    1. I'm with you on that opinion.

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  9. Your coverage of the parade is always fun to see as is the pics of Miss E and Little E. They're getting so big already. And a happy belated b-day to your hubby! :-)

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    1. Thanks! The parade is hilarious and I look forward to it every year.

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  10. I can't believe I almost missed the nude bikers. That must feel so free. Kudos to those who can do it without a little support, like I'd need at this point in my life. We've had to use the big candles for birthdays, too, but only for adults - the kids won't allow it for themselves.

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    1. You don't want to miss the nude bikers — in fact, you probably should come see them in person. :) Some of them could have used some support since paint doesn't really help with that issue.

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