Fremont District Solstice Parade 2006 - 2008
Photos on this webpage, all by Michael Kleven, are part of a collection of more than 300 parade photographs.
To date (1/2/09) they have not been shown publically.
Why is this parade important?
Neighborhood participants prepare throughout the year, in workshops sponsored by the Fremont
Arts Council. They build skills in costuming, paper mache creations, and other presentations. The artistic
elements reach toward the highest level of playful imagination, and vivid execution of ideas.
The "naked but for paint" element seems to have started with the bicyclists some years back. The increased number
of bodies covered mainly with paint, seems to be a spontaneous development, ignored by authorities so far. It is curious
that a coating of paint seems to give the same security as clothing both to the participant and to viewers.
The major significance lies in the non-commercial elements of the parade. It is a people's parade, an artist's
parade and --notice the expressions -- people appear engaged, energized, and somehow more fully alive.
Add to this the fact that this exciting event does not seem to rest on drunken revelry, common in some urban celebrations, but
carries with it a sense of wholesomeness, and family friendly fun.