John & Anne Wiley

2012/06/24

The One

There are plenty of fun things to see and do around SB, but for us the Solstice Parade is “The One.” Numeo Uno. Primo.

0600 Parade Approach

0600 Parade Approach

It’s just colorful and random displays of fanciful and playful imagination, and always seems to enchant us.

0605 Fantasy

0605 Fantasy

There’s a “theme” every year, and this time it was “Fantasy.” Even when you know the theme, it’s often impossible to guess how a particular entrant in the parade is trying to express that thought. Maybe because some aren’t – just having crazy fun. 🙂

0623 Crowd Pleasers

0623 Crowd Pleasers

Most of the participants interact with the crowd, and since many along the route dress up fancifully too, watching the crowd adds to the fun. For example, Ms Piggy there had boobs and buns that moved to cheers from the crowd.

0638 Upper Deck

0638 Upper Deck

Click any of these pix for larger versions. The one above for example, has many interesting details. Notice the upper deck observers watching the parade and the crowd.

0640 Small & Tall

0640 Small & Tall

Lots of families, and kids getting shoulder rides to save energy or for a great view. Few things seem more thrilling to a small child than riding atop a tall parent. Bring back memories?

0645 Parade Family

0645 Parade Family

Some families are right out in the parade, and this Dad seems especially happy about it. Since we were near the end point of the long parade, the kids had stopped waving by this point but his enthusiasm made up for it.

0646 Handy Man

0646 Handy Man

I guess the guy in the spangled red suit with giant hands is supposed to be Elvis, and he just randomly hugged the guy in the wheelchair. I wondered if this next float was a tribute to the kids story about “Wild Things.”

0649 Wild Things

0649 Wild Things

There were several groups of brilliantly costumed dancers like these, and most of the groups were quite large. This group had perhaps fifty dancers.

0655 Dancers

0655 Dancers

A few people brought pets, and this one seemed less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. Had the wings worked, this dog would have surely flown away home.

0673 Fairy Dog

0673 Fairy Dog

Sometimes the parade would take inexplicably long pauses, and younger people both in and watching the parade might wilt a little in the warm sun.

0686 Delayed Dancers

0686 Delayed Dancers

Can you tell I just don’t get tired of looking at the parade and the pix we take of it? So much fun, color and random humanity.

0688 True Colors

0688 True Colors

All along the route are kids and families selling eggs that have been drained and colorful confetti put in. Kids of all ages love to smash them over people’s heads, and someone tagged the girl in the middle of this next pic.

0689 Egg Head

0689 Egg Head

Of course, Summer Solstice is all about the sun. This next float was among my favs, and you can see a sol face peeking out from behind the blue multi-armed entity whose back is turned toward us.

0690 Slice of Sun

0690 Slice of Sun

There were of course multitudes of photographers mingling with the crowd, some quite beautiful.

0694 Kodak Moment

0694 Kodak Moment

There’s a colorful inflated float that usually marks the end of the parade, though this year it was followed by yet another drum float.

0695 Semi-Final Float

0695 Semi-Final Float

Inside the float’s plastic windows you can see gymnasts performing, with at least one of them on a trapeze seeming to float inside the float.

0709 Floating Inside

0709 Floating Inside

Once the last float has passed, many in the crowd follow the parade to the grand old Alameda Park for music, arts, crafts, and lots of fun.

0719 Following

0719 Following

Now if you haven’t enjoyed looking at and clicking on some of these pix and the whole notion of such a people’s parade is boring, watch out because my next post will probably include a few from the park. May the sun always shine in your heart.

Happy Solstice! 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Wow! I love all these photos of Solstice, and also the things you wrote about it! It really captures the color, the movement, and the spirit of it. I can relive the parade seeing it here. Thank you so much! I was thinking of you during the parade and I knew you two must be out there somewhere!

    Comment by Nancy K — 2012/06/24 @ 14:57

  2. I second everything Nancy K just said. Like her, I was also thinking about you during the event, wondering if I might run into you. Cool to see that Anne was taking pictures too!

    Comment by Scott — 2012/06/25 @ 23:09


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