Solstice took a flight of fancy up Santa Barbara Street on Saturday. The 50th anniversary Solstice Parade celebration stuck the landing as a magical assortment of winged, feathered, and glittered creatures rolled, leaped and danced to an assortment of musical accompaniment and cheers from the crowds on their way to further the festivities at Alameda Park.

Swarms of Santa Barbarians flocked to the streets (an estimated 100,000 people) — some as fancifully turned as the parade folks — to enjoy a sunny afternoon celebrating the return of summer in our town’s uniquely eccentric way! 

A giant inflatable rainbow dragon from artist Pali X-Mano, the Brasscals band, and bedazzling dancers — including the 100-person strong La Boheme Dance Troupe featured on the Independent cover this week — led the way for the stream of floats, butterflies, bees, chicken dancers, Mrs. Ropers, and even a pink flying pig by artist in residence Irene Ramirez. Additional highlights included artist Grace Fisher in a colorful display with one of her paintings, former Solstice director Claudia Bratton’s diner and entourage of aliens and spacesuited waiters, World Dance for Humanity’s “Dancing in the Streets” performance, and the Sesame Street–inspired Mahna Manah crew of Solstice alumni.

Although bystanders reported that an ambulance delayed the parade for a bit near the courthouse as it approached the park, it wasn’t enough to deter the festive spirit of Solstice, which continued well into the night and onward to Reggae Sunday, which featured The Rahkas, the Kicks, True Zion, and Morie and the Heavy Hitters.

Indy photographer Ingrid Bostrom caught some of the most special moments of Summer Solstice — check out the 50th annual festivities through her lens.

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