Thursday, June 18, 2009

weekend essentials: Fremont Solstice Parade

This weekend in Seattle is the 38th Annual Fremont Fair, but more importantly, Saturday is the Solstice Parade. We're talking crazy costumes, naked and body-painted bicycle riders, street performers, dancing, drinking, eating, and an all-day party through the streets of The Center Of The Universe.

For all the "official" info, you can check out the Fremont Fair Web site. All it really tells you is that you can't ride a motorcycle with a logo on it with your dog riding in the side car. (No written words, no motorized vehicles and no animals...) Oh, and it starts at 12 p.m.

It's a crazy/amazing day, so you should prepare and adorn yourself accordingly.

Here's my breakdown of how to as far as looking appropriately inappropriate and having a joyous day.

1. Bring your camera. I'll be out there doing my best to capture all the fun & funky people that make the Solstice so amazing, but you too will be happy you have a camera when you look over and your companion has striped down and jumped on a tandem bike with a naked dude painted like a Smurf. Just be sure to charge your batteries, empty your memory card and use that wrist-strap! (then email me your best pics, of course!)

2. Wear something wild. Don't be one of the awkward observers, standing on the sidewalk in jeans and a sweatshirt, gawking at the people having 10x as much fun as you. Go to Good Will, Value Village, Red Light, Crossroads, or Buffalo Exchange and find something cool and crazy to wear. Like a pair of wings. Or a crown. Or a tie-dye jumpsuit. Or a gorilla costume. Or paint yourself. Any way you like it, just embrace the moment and treat it like halloween in June.

3. If you aren't going to go all-out, at least channel your inner hippie. Find that tie-dye shirt you made at your sorority bonding event. Bust out that pair of short, destroyed jorts that are almost never acceptable to wear in public. Braid some flowers into your hair. Wear a headband across your forhead. Tie a scarf around your arm. Find some rose-colored glasses and huge hoop earrings. Don't shave your legs...I mean, whatever feels right. At least enjoy the spirit of this crazy day.

4. Secure your belongings. Mom alert, I know. But seriously, it's just too easy to lose all your things if you don't plan this out. Either don't bring anything, and hope the Solstice gods are smiling down on you, ready to shower you with free food and alcohol without an ID, or locate a small cross-body bag to store your things. I have a great faux-leather pouch i picked up from H&M a few months ago, and it sits right on my body and holds my camera, cell phone, some cash and my ID perfectly. This way you can keep track of your essentials and still wave your arms wildly to the music.

5. Catch a concert or 15. There are more than 25 scheduled musical performers over the span of the weekend. Where else can you hear Carrie Clark & The Lonesome Lovers, who "twist country and folk with a dollop of cabaret singing songs of one night stands, love, lust, divas, and dark lullabies" as well as Cherry Cherry, a Neil Diamond tribute. (He'll be on the Redhook Stage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., you're welcome.)

6. Check out the Art Car Blowout. People will be displaying their humorous and creative car decoration at the Upper Burke Building parking lot, both Saturday and Sunday. A horse-themed Pinto might not be as exciting as a naked-themed human, but to each their own.

"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

- Dave Matthews Band (Tripping Billies)

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