Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

35 Comments
Reads 6644

Click through the above slideshow of the 2018 Santa Barbara Solstice Parade (Photos: Fritz Olenberger)

Thousands gathered along State Street for the annual Summer Solstice Parade on Saturday that honored local heroes from the natural disaster events.

The 44th annual event hosted the usual charm and whimsy with colorful floats and costumes, energetic dancers, and quirky characters. 

This year's theme is "Heroes" honoring local first responders and organizations who helped during the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslide. The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, a non-profit that literally helps Montecito residents dig mud out of their homes and yards, started the parade with the La Boheme dancers. 

Before the parade began, a small group of activists walked ahead of the floats protesting the current presidential administration and Immigration Customs Enforcement's (ICE) jailing of innocent children at the border. There was a smattering of applause from the audience, with a steady amount of boos. One woman nearby walked up and got in the face of a protestor exchanging words, while Santa Barbara Police officers on bicycles kept the peace and politely asked the woman to sit down.

Not long after, dancers and floats slowly made their way up the street on the steady incline. Through all the excitement, the edhat staff did not forget to keep an eye out for drums. In years past, the parade had hundreds and hundreds of drums being counted, but as of late, the drums seem to be dwindling. It took halfway through the parade to see more than a lone drummer marching up the street. But even then there weren't that many. 

For those who entered the contest, the edhat staff counted 68 drums in this year's parade. Click here to see who won the contest.

As the parade came to a close, spectators walked to Alameda Park where bands played on the stage and local vendors set up booths selling everything from organic lotion to fairy wings.

Just a few blocks away from the park was the 8th Annual Summer Solstice Bash at a private home that opened their doors to not only friends, but passersby to listen to bands on a small, yet state of the art, soundstage. Local band Key Party blew the crowd away with their coordinated outfits and engaging musical stylings. 

Key Party performing at a private house party

The Summer Solstice festival is a Santa Barbara staple and there is much fun to be had. Scroll through photos below for parade highlights. 

2018 Santa Barbara Solstice Parade

Login to add Comments

35 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
MissBleu Jun 25, 2018 04:30 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Re: Zea and Dragon Mangan Yes. That was when the parade got a tad “salty” or “ spicey”. If one reviews the history of this parade the origin did have more than a whiff of a political statement mingled in with a Birthday celebration of a local...Michael Gonzalez, a Santa Barbara resident and a mime and artist.

PitMix Jun 25, 2018 01:14 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I don't care that they were protesting, I just think it is not a very effective way to do it. The sign I saw said to remember that we are all on stolen Chumash land. But being young and full of energy and passionate about a cause is not a bad thing.

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 02:15 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

The MLK protests had a true message....the "umpteenth" protests per year during republican administrations in SB do not. Our local protests have become so commonplace that no one pays ttention...not to mention it is always the same people and pols looking for a PR photo op. Will people protest if denuclearization of NK takes place AND the president wins a Nobel?

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 01:28 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Yeah, unfortunately, many protesters lose sight of their message and go off on tangents. It's best to focus on the issue and facts, not drudge up emotional arguments about "stolen Chumash land." The separation of families resulting from the blanket prosecution of a misdemeanor offense is egregious enough as it is. Leave the Chumash stuff out.

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 01:05 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

It's their 1st amendment right to protest. Good for them! To those who are saying it's "not the time and place," remember that people also said that to Martin Luther King Jr. during their marches, and restaurant sit-ins.

Factotum Jun 25, 2018 02:36 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

There is a first amendment right to free speech, to assemble peacefully and to petition government to redress grievances. Ad hoc "protests" can be controlled by the government as to time, place and manner.

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 11:53 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

If the protesters were not a sanctioned entry in the parade, I would hope that the police would do their job and cite/disperse for disturbing the peace and/or unlawful assembly. While I did not disagree to some extent with their vision, find a new venue kids...

biguglystick Jun 25, 2018 11:48 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

For those of you complaining about the ICE protest signs ruining your perfect fun in your white privilege, please think of the agony of the mothers and fathers who literally had their children RIPPED, screaming and crying from their arms, and taken away to an undisclosed location. The pain they must be feeling is palpable and staggering. I applaud the people standing up against this hatred and division. Yes, it's our little slice of wealthy paradise here, but let's not close our eyes to what is happening right in our country. Sheesh. The selfishness of some people.

a-1560757003 Jun 26, 2018 10:09 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I really wish folks would stop with the "white privilege" stuff. I am 100% against separation of families at the border, but that is based on my concerns for the children and has nothing to do with race. It IS possible to not be a white straight male and still care about the kids at the border. Race should have nothing to do with it.

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 12:16 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

There is a time and a place for protest. This was not one of them. They embarrassed themselves, looked like buffoons, and killed the early happy vibe of the parade. I agree with message, but they hurt the cause. Nothing positive came out their stupid protest. What did they really expect to accomplish? Attention for themselves...?

ZeroHawk Jun 25, 2018 10:07 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

i have attended every year sine about 1988 It's always fun, always a great time. Those who whine about people claiming a spot...well you either do it too or are left out and really cant complain. We go down 1 hour before the parade starts, every year....every year, and find plenty of spaces for all 5 of us. Red curbs are a great thing....there's your hint...

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 09:46 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I haven't gone in now two years; costumed dancers are not that interesting. The fantasy floats of years past were great! The lined up chairs along State Street have spoiled it; and it seems to have become just another tourist event. That said, two friends of a friend, tourists from LA, said that the Alameda Park festivities were great fun!

Potif Jun 25, 2018 02:58 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Yes, we should, and need to put aside thoughts of hate and darkness at times. There HAS been much darkness in our past, and it may get darker before things improve. But for most people's sanity, we need to just have some FUN every now and then!

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 10:47 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Oops- what "hate from the left?" Hate like referring to humans as "infesting" our country? Hate like making fun of disabled people? Hate like calling white supremacists "fine people?" Just curious what hateful things you're concerned about....

oops Jun 25, 2018 10:38 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I am glad she stood up to the protestors - can't we just have some fun without all the hate from the left. Jeez, chasing people from restaurants because you disagree with their political views or who they work for- how intolerant is that!

a-1560757003 Jun 25, 2018 10:14 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Ugh... glad someone put her in her place. Of all the things people have protested in SB over the years, the family separation issue is really the only one I just don't see how anyone can support.

Potif Jun 25, 2018 02:52 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

It is still a good thing to take a break, and enjoy some just plain old fashioned fun without some having to make a political point, or worry about whatever darkness there may be in any way. Fun and laughter can disperse some of the darkness for many. Don't need to have 'messages' ALL the time. Some people can't handle all the darkness, everywhere or every day.

biguglystick Jun 25, 2018 11:45 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Well, we have never been living in a time like we are living in now. It's sad, but things are awful. Deep, dark, ugly and awful, so there are going to be brave souls who are standing up to this darkness. Get used to it, at least until the blue wave washes out this filth in our government.

PitMix Jun 25, 2018 08:58 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I had a good time and enjoyed the 3 days at Alameda park. The last float had a guitarist on it and he really added a lot of energy. Some young people who had been watching the World Cup joined up and added a lot too. Solstice is like pizza, it's always good but sometimes it's really good!

Luvaduck Jun 25, 2018 07:56 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I stopped going when the curb viewing area became the private property of groups hogging it with their chairs/blankets day(s) before the parade. Makes it impossible to get a good spot. People who complain about the privileged class taking over previously open mountain and beach views and sometimes the beach itself behaving exactly the same when they get the chance. Ironic to the supposed spirit of the parade when it first started. Greedy people who don't care about other are greedy people who don't care about others with or without money and status.

Roger Jun 25, 2018 08:53 AM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

I haven't gone in years never got a good spot though the first year I was here a group of us drunks were allowed to join the tail end of the parade we danced with out alcoholic drinks in our hands and the police let us do it that was cool.

Factotum Jun 24, 2018 05:26 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

Making jokes about other people passes for fun today. But only if you are preaching to the choir - who is happier when they are angry too. Strange times - we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves. And to just chortle at the foibles of others; not eviscerate them.

a-1560757003 Jun 24, 2018 04:50 PM
Summer Solstice Parade Honors Heroes and Delights the Crowd

The parade is usually quite a spectacle, with lots of energy, color and pizzazz. Possibly it was the gloomy weather, or maybe lack of drums, but for me, the parade was not was as exhilarating and upbeat as it has been in the past. Although I agree with the sentiment, the ICE protest did not seem appropriate for what the whole SB Solstice event is all about, and came across as a "fail" in my opinion. The party in the park was good fun though.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.