John & Anne Wiley


Soft Summer Start

Santa Barbarians have a long tradition of fun gatherings, and our favorite is the annual Summer Solstice Parade. This year it unfolded beneath a mostly soft overcast, with the sun peeking through just often enough to confound manual camera settings. Still, here are some of our pic pix from this sweet event starting with kids in the street as the parade approached.


0001 Family Fun

Soon the parade arrived with a group of dancing flamingos showing off their amazing high kicks, some perhaps learned back in high school.


0786 Kick Off

This year there were several floats with acrobats, like this one who adroitly balanced on a pole as their bouncing float was pushed uphill by volunteers (no motorized vehicles in this parade).


0789 Seahorse Acrobat

People of all ages join the parade, and the variety of expressions they wear hint at intriguing inner worlds.


0822 Faraway Eyes

Next to catch our eye was this kid in an interesting mask who like many in the parade and in the crowd, noticed our cameras.


0830 Hidden Eyes

Speaking of the crowd, one of my own interests is observing the observers who populate balconies and windows slightly above the crowd.


0832 Sociologists?

Another flamingo theme seemed to focus on kiddie pools and inflatable toys.


0844 Flamingo Flourish

We don’t know what the theme of this small group was, but we enjoyed watching their interactions.


0851 Bubble Heads

These very similar costumes may have been part of the group, but for some reason their helium balloons tied through nylons clearly evoked antennae.


0859 Feelers

This next group caught me catching them, and warmly welcomed the notice.


0867 Happy High

Some of the floats were especially magical and artistic for us, like this massive sculpture contemplatively inviting us into a deeper consciousness in the boisterous flow of colorful life.


0873 Gaia?

She was followed by a large smiling sun reflecting the mild warmth of this event.


0883 Seasonal Warmth

In a group of gracefully rolling butterflies, one was serenely walking with a flat tire.


0884 Grounded

In reference again to the crowd, check out the delighted kids at the left below enjoying the little dog.


0886 Kids & Dogs

This rolling butterfly on a hoverboard hints at some quality of Blues Brothers meets Ghostbusters.


0887 Orange is the new Butterfly

Behind a personal pedicab was this high-stepper (for a guy) escorting a gray bunny bike.


0938 Bunny Bike

Another acrobatic float featured three gals hanging out in hoops.


0950 Happy Hoopers

After many other delights, all too soon parade’s end approached. Usually last is this Pali inflatable acrobatic float.


0967 In The Bubble

There was also some combination of an intricately carved dragon and dark lion show in the parade finale, maybe referencing a movie we’ve not seen?


0973 Intricate Dragon

A tradition in our parades is eggshells filled with confetti. So following the last float with dancers and drummers came a crew with brooms pushing it all into the street for circling machines to collect for disposal. One of them paused long enough for us to snap this street chalk art message.


Chalk Art

A large crowd follows the last float to our stately 3-park complex where the floats are parked, and people in the parade mingle with the crowd. There are always several musical groups and drum circles performing amid the food and craft booths under the canopy of patient old trees.


0983 Park People


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