Once a year, the people in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood throw away any trace of modesty and embrace their freedom of self-expression. Hundreds of stark-naked people covered in elaborate body paint flood the street, parading about on bicycles, roller-skates, on foot, and on all sorts of weird transportation.
The Fremont Solstice Parade has been adding a whimsical, scantily clad bit of fun to the area since 1989. It’s produced by the Fremont Arts Council, which supports local artists. Thousands of people come to both watch and participate in the festivities, which are part of the Fremont Fair.
The parade wouldn’t be complete without the Solstice Cyclists. These bikers bare it all, donning a dazzlingly bright array of body paint instead of costumes to complete their looks. You never know who or what you’ll see rolling down the street, reveling in all their nude or nearly nude glory. In the past, there have been naked Darth Vaders, Pink Panthers, Elvises, Batmans, Santa Clauses, cavemen, dragons, and vampires. One year, two naked guys pedaled a periwinkle-blue VW flower-power bus made of cardboard down the street.
Many spectators come just as prepared as the participants. People bring out chairs and parasols. The most dedicated haul in sofas and coffee tables, positioning them on both sides of the street to get the best view and spreading out refreshments and picnic food.
Even though the parade covers only one street, it goes on for a couple of hours, with people running and riding around in circles up and down the route. After the parade, the party continues at the nearby Gas Works Park. The hill offers a stunning view of the Seattle skyline.
Know Before You Go
The parade starts at NW 39th St and Leary Way NW and ends at Gasworks Park. Parking on parade day is scarce and some of the streets will be closed.
The parade has four key rules: no printed words, signs, or recognizable logos; no live animals (except service animals); no motorized vehicles (except motorized wheelchairs); and no functional weapons. See the organization's website for details about future parades.