HAPPY SUMMER everyone!  Here we go, 2012’s Summer, may be the last of our lifetime if we let the Mayan Calendar and all other future-see-ers tell us…and if thats the way we go out, let’s start it out with a fun filled welcoming in of the summer solstice in Seattle’s awesome and crazy, artistic and revolutionary neighborhood called FREMONT aka The Center of The Universe.

The Fremont Solstice Parade kicks off the neighborhood’s weekend long celebration.  Along with the parade, comes the fair and other festivities.  THE most memorable of which (at least for me) is the parade.  Let me pre-empt this with…there are going to be some long johns and pillows in this article (if you know what I’m sayin). DANG…was that warning to late? =)

I’m not going to talk too much as I’ve asked some Seattle mobile shooters to also send in some their shots and possibly write some text.  Have fun viewing these shots!  OH by the way, did I mention that my first time actually meeting an IGer who wasn’t someone I knew before Instagram was at this event a year ago.  Mellow aka @threetree and I celebrated our bromance this year again and so, I’m sure you’ll enjoy his view of the Summer Solstice by way of the Center of the Universe!

The Words

Let Your Freak Flag Fly! – Mellow L. @threetree

High praise to the Seattle Weather Gods! Was it just me or were there more naked cyclists this year? Either that or they couldn’t resist looping and looping and looping… not that I’m complaining. I always enjoy this chance to witness the kooks and free spirits celebrating the beginning of summer in Seattle and will be right back on the sidewalk next year; rain or shine.Jasmine W., @jasminewoo

As a long time resident of the Wallingford/Fremont area, I am a little embarrassed to admit that this year was my first visit to the Fremont Solstice Fair. I’d always heard it was a great time, filled with the celebration of life, art, and the free spirited culture of Seattle I’ve always been in love with. The Solstice Fair definitely lived up to expectations! What a blast! – Brad Hefta-Gaub,  @zappoman

 “Fremont has been one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods ever since the I was a teen in the mid 80s and I would shop at at Deluxe Junk for retro clothes and get a cheap lunch of pork humbow at Yak’s Teriyaki…ah, memories! And even though today we only live a couple of miles away, it had been ages since I went to the Solstice Parade and Fremont Fair. I got out of the habit when my kids were little and then it always seemed to coincide with other family commitments. So, I was psyched that everything aligned this year and we could go…the whole family…and it was fantastic! I feel so fortunate to live in such a vibrant city where I can walk down, take in all the weird and wonderful sights, shop for handmade items, support the arts and be truly inspired by the creativity that abounds in the Center of the Universe!” – Adrien Hefta-Gaub, @ella67

I  have lived in Seattle for three years now, and this was the year I finally decided to see what the /Summer Solstice/ celebration was all about. I had heard about the event but thought it was simply a few folks streaking through town in the middle of the night, Tour De France style… naked.

Yes, there were lots of bike riders sans apparel, wearing nothing but a coat of paint (think Sports Illustrated painted swimsuits, but on bodies of all shapes and sizes). Some were even bold enough to join the party completely au naturel.

Sure, some may think this event is creepy, but in this case, maybe it’s the spectators and looky-lous that are creepy. Afterall, we are the ones gawking and taking photos. Ha! But amid all the amusement  and visual distractions, I found these three quiet moments to be my favorite. I also have a thing for superheroes, so these guys round out my top four shots from this event.

Fremont, you truly are bizarre. The Summer Solstice pre-show bike ride and pomp and pageantry of the parade were a visual feast of totally random weirdness… and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Does that make me creepy?

What a way to welcome Summer!Cat R.,  @visualchemist

I love so much about this city and the Solstice Parade is one of my favorite events all year, I’ve been attending for along time.  This year, I decided that I wanted to immerse myself in the pre-parade preparations.  I love the juxtapositions, people in body paint, giant bees,  Storm Troopers, butterfly wings, and magical creatures.  Who says you have to be a kid to dress up and have some fun?  Happy Solstice!Ari S., @rupee_mama

The shots!

Adrien Hefta-Gaub, @ella67


Ann P, @annubells 

Ari S., @rupee_mama

Brad Hefta-Gaub,  @zappoman

Cat R.,  @visualchemist

Jasmine W., @jasminewoo

Mellow L., @threetree