Looks like there will be a 2018 Fremont Solstice parade—the 30th in its history—after all.
In late June, Fremont Arts Council (FAC), the organization that organizes the parade, issued a plea for help: A construction project prevented the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) from renewing FAC’s lease on their storage space, where they kept all their parade floats, which then turn into community-led creations each year.
Because the Council operates on a tight budget, market-rate storage wasn’t an option for them—and losing the floats wasn’t an option for them.
“If we have to destroy these floats then that will be the last Solstice Parade,” Peter Toms, a FAC member and co-founder of the event, told us back in June. “There will be no Solstice Parades after that one.”
Earlier this week, another city agency officially came to the rescue. It turns out that a Seattle City Light property in an ideal location was, conveniently, very close to being vacant.
“The new site is literally on the staging area for the parade. It’s fantastic,” said Toms in a statement. “It couldn’t be any better.”
FAC is signing a month-to-month lease on the 4,000-square-foot open-air space, but they plan on pursuing a long-term contract. The space will allow them to continue storing parade equipment, including the float bases—some that they’ve had for as many as 25 years.
Those bases are built into floats by community groups. B.F. Day school is a frequent contributor, for example, as is a local samba group.
“We want people to feel like they can step in and be a part of this,” FAC board member Mac DaVis told us last month. “Part of the cache of Fremont is that it’s a creative community. “
Seattle Office of Film, Music, and Events director Kate Becker said in a statement that she’s “delighted the tradition will continue.”
“Thousands turnout every year to celebrate the summer, display their creative spirit,” she said.
With the new space, thousands will continue to turn out for a while yet. Just please, don’t show up with a racist puppet (or anything) in 2018 (or ever).
- Show Will Go on for Fremont Solstice Parade [Seattle City Light]
- This year’s Fremont Solstice Parade could be its last [CS]