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Solstice weekend: The Fremont Solstice Parade, and a birthday dinner

Posted Jun 26 2013 11:00am
Not your ordinary marching band-members.

Every year the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle hosts a Solstice party. Fremont , otherwise known as the Center of the Universe, is not your ordinary neighborhood — it's a little weirder than most places.

One of the big events at the Solstice Fair is the parade. I've written about the Fremont Fair nude bikers, and  the floats, in the past so I won't go into too many details here, but I'll tell you that the parade is not your ordinary public event.

The parade starts with about 200 nude bicyclists, and continues with a couple of hours of bands and floats. The floats must be manually pulled because this is a very ecologically-oriented eventno motor vehicles allowed.

You might think the ladies on the left are wearing bathing suits. They're not.

Most bicyclists wear costumes made from paint — some so clever that you might not notice the rider is stark naked — and others choose to ride au naturel, or with polka dots or hearts, or something. Although their costumes weren't the flashiest, the two women wearing "bathing attire" were among my favorites this year. Their painted-on suits were hilariously realistic, though you probably shouldn't try this at a public beach.

Many of the costumes are quite complex and require props.

And I noticed at least two dogs riding in this year's parade.

This was the first time I've been to the Solstice parade when it wasn't drizzling and cool, and it was much harder to get good photos in the blinding light. The parade was moved to 3 p.m., and the sun was high in the sky, creating difficulties. Miss E, a true child of the PNW, was complaining about the heat — a blistering 75˚. Ha.

Miss E's brother, Little E was attending his first Solstice Parade, and was quite amenable to both the heat and the commotion.

Eventually, though, he needed a little nap to refresh from the hard work of watching the parade.

The parade goes on for a couple of hours but we needed to leave long before it ended. The fair has lots of interesting booths and events that you can read about on the Web page . I've barely scratched the surface of the three-day event.

The parade was on Saturday, and my husband's birthday was on Sunday. This year, our middle son and his partner hosted the family birthday celebration. It was a delicious affair with everyone contributing food. Taryn brought a delicious tapenade with crackers, and a great salad with homegrown lettuce. Kate made a wonderful dal and Aaron made irresistible roasted cauliflower. I brought cake.

I was so into eating the terrific food that I completely forgot about taking photos until all that remained was a little bit of dal in my bowl.

I made the cake — a gluten-free chocolate chip cake — and my oldest son gets the credit for photographing it. If you think the candle doesn't look quite right, perhaps you can remind me to buy some birthday candles. The cake is one I make often because it always works, and Miss E likes it. It's covered with a simple ganache made by heating 1/2 cup of almond milk to a low boil, removing the pan from the heat, then adding 3/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips and stirring until they are melted. I let it cool for 10 minutes then gently and slowly poured the chocolate over the cake, in thin layers. I put the cake into the fridge to solidify the chocolate.

If you would like to see more images from the Solstice parade, here are a few links to earlier posts
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