If you’re one of the happy horde with the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade on your summer must-do list, we have important news: The parade’s starting at a new time this year. The popular event to welcome the first day of summer in distinctive Fremont style starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, so there’s lots of time to get there and stake out your favorite viewing spot, especially handy since parking is extremely limited and arrival by bus, bike or other alternate transportation is recommended. Come early and browse through fair vendors and activities, or get a leisurely start and still have time to do it all to celebrate the longest day of the year.
The Solstice Parade is famously preceded by a mass of nude and/or body-painted bicyclists riding the route before the official Fremont Arts Council event, which celebrates the personal expression of art with an array of creative participants and no written words, animals or motorized vehicles. The parade ends at Gas Works Park with Solstice Celebration music, food vendors and beer garden until 9 p.m., featuring a giant flash mob singalong starting at 6 p.m. at the east end of the park.
Fremont Fair festivities kick off Friday at the Main Stage Beer Garden with cocktails, wine, beer and live music continuing all weekend with new, longer hours Saturday. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open Saturday and Sunday; ID is required at both beer gardens and payment’s by cash only (ATMs available).
“Our music lineup is really strong this year — 45 local bands,” says Phil Megenhardt, president and creative director of fair organizers Bold Hat Productions. “Everyone knows the shopping’s great and the parade is awesome; when you think Fremont Fair you may not think amazing music show, but it is!” Besides the two beer-garden stages, there’s an entertainment stage at Fremont Abbey Arts and buskers around the festival grounds.
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Fair events Saturday and Sunday include hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, Fremont Abbey Arts activities and the Seattle Art Car Blowout, the largest gathering of decorated art cars in the Northwest. Bring your mat for free yoga for the Solstice at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (preregistration online requested) and check out the Dog Parade around the festival grounds led by Tubaluba brass band at 2:30 p.m. Sunday ($10 registration, opens at 11 a.m., proceeds to benefit Citizens for Off-Leash Areas).
All ages are welcome at the fair, with art activities, a giant bouncy slide and entertainment for kids and families at Fremont Abbey Arts. All events are free, with donations appreciated; Fremont Arts Council passes the big Green Hat for donations during the parade and tip jars at the beer gardens and fair information stations benefit the fair and local charities.
Madeline McKenzie: firstname.lastname@example.org