Saturday, June 16, 2007

Solstice Parade!

So one of the Chicken family's annual traditions is to pack in the car and head down to Freemont for the mighty Solstice Parade. We've been going since, oh, some time in the '90s, back in the days when the SPD were uptight and if anyone so much as took off their top it was off to the slammer.

Well, as the photo evidence shows, the cops have lightened up dramatically and the amount of painted skin has risen just as dramatically. And now that I have a decent camera I can finally do the parade justice.

As always, the naked bicyclists kicked things off. While last weekend featured "World Naked Bicycle Day," here in Seattle it was wicked wet and cold. Not that taking a practice run would have made these folks skip the parade, mind you, 'cause I'm pretty sure they like riding around showing their painted bits off to the masses. Here are pictures of a few of them...I like the elephant boys, 'cause if you're going to wear a codpiece you really want one that makes you look well hung. The ladybug lady was nice too, but she kind of lost it with the pipe cleaner antennae.

I like these boys too, especially the guy with the flower paint, 'cause he clearly wanted to just go nude but didn't want to buck the body-painting trend. Not sure if the guy in the middle picture is a cop or a sailor, or maybe just some guy who has a thing for uniforms. Oh, and as you can see we found Waldo. In fact, there were about 10 of them, and later in the day one of them came by and hugged someone standing behind us. Up close the paint didn't look as good, 'cause it was kind of starting to crack.

In other news, Lest you think everyone biking naked was in their 20s and early 30s and good looking, here's proof that older folks can get their body paint freak on.

And if Linda Carter had just painted on her costume, Wonder Woman would still be on TV. Well, ok, not on TV, but at least on DVD. And I love the woman in the suit...looks like she's off to work at Staples. The beauty in the paint job is in the details, so zoom in and check out the collar and cuff work.

Finally, after the bikers were gone the "real" parade showed up, led by this bead-throwing stilt-walking guy and the two topless chicks carrying the solstice banner. They were followed, as always, by the samba dancers and band and a guy wearing Nemo as a hat:

The next group had something to do with water, bottled and otherwise. I think they didn't like bottled water, based on the weird long-neck dudes covered with bottles and the guys in suits with all the money, but I could be wrong...

That was followed by about 300 fake Egyptians, led off by dancing maidens and ending with people carrying pieces of a pyramid. They didn't put it together for us...not sure if they ever did. I just want to know who made all their costumes, 'cause that's a lot of fake snakes.

Next up, apparently a message to reduce, reuse and recycle. Or ball up all those plastic containers and roll them down the street dung-beetle style.

These guys were just wandering around. Not sure who they are supposed to be, but they looked pretty cool.

Again with the recycling theme. Or maybe she just wanted people to yell "Nice Jugs!"

This dude's space air bike thing was really sweet...looks like the fan is pushing it, but I'm pretty sure it was front-wheel drive.

Nice hair. Really.

This group featured jack-in-the-box washing machines. Turn the cranks and out pops a kid covered in laundry!

And for those who don't like thrash metal, how about a hand-powered disco and giant boom box? (didn't get a picture of the boom box, unfortunately...)

If I'd been thinking I would have asked these guys where they got their sweet space suits. But I was too distracted by the bubble man.

The Ents made an appearance last year too, I believe, but this year they took it to the next level. Really cool costumes, and the giant tree dude was gorgeous. I really expected him to get up and walk away.

And last but not least, bringing up the rear, the kids' marimba band from, um, somewhere. Salmon Bay school, maybe? Don't know, and didn't get a program so I can't look it up.


hendra said...

wow... nice picture sir,,,
just looking for body painting art..
is there up date for year 2008 parade?

Scott Chicken said...

I think it's Saturday June 21st. Google "Fremont Arts Council" or "Fremont Solstice Parade" and you'll find it.