The annual raising of colorful Solstice flags lining State Street ushers in the beginning of summer in Santa Barbara and the upcoming festivities of the 36th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration. This year’s theme is “Carnival.” The Solstice Parade will take place on Saturday, June 26, beginning at 12:00 noon at State and Cota! The parade will march up State Street from Cota Street, to Micheltorena Street, turning into Alameda Park.
The Solstice flags were designed by Steven Lovelace, former Solstice staff and board member, and Claudia Bratton, Solstice Executive Director. The flags display a bold color combination of turquoise, purple, yellow, gold, orange, magenta and red with symbols of the sun, a spiral and waves creating a synthesis. The vibrant colors and images are symbolic of the creative vitality and beauty of Santa Barbara.
The Festival in Alameda Park begins on Friday, June 25 at 4 pm. The kick-off for the festival is an evening with incredible musicians and singers, dancers and various groups from the parade will show off their routines, costumes, and music. This evening is put together by Solstice Board member, and well known musician, Randy Tico. Saturday, the festival begins at noon and goes until 8:00 pm, with delicious food, beverage, fine arts, crafts, and a beer & wine garden. The Festival is free and includes live music and drumming.
An adjoining Solstice Children’s Festival, located in the eastern portion of the park, has its own stage with live entertainment, musicians and free arts and crafts projects. The Solstice Children’s Festival is open on Saturday from noon – 6 pm. Floats from the parade will be on view at the park until 4:30 pm.
For those wishing to work on parade floats, the Solstice workshop is in full swing at 631 Garden Street. The Workshop is open to the public Tuesday to Friday, from 3 – 8 pm and weekends from noon – 6 pm. Solstice provides a paid staff of artists, costumers and mask-makers who teach, mentor and encourage participants to transform ordinary materials into colorful animated floats and ensembles. There is still time to join an ensemble!
A great way to support the Solstice is to buy a T-shirt. This year’s design is by the Solstice artist, Mary Williams. Solstice products are available at local stores, along the parade route and at the festival in Alameda Park. Vintage shirts and poster are available in the park.
For more details or for parade and/or workshop registration visit the www.SolsticeParade.com or call the Solstice office (805) 965-3396, or the Solstice Workshop at 965-5535.