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Originally published Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade welcome summer with style

Here are details on Fremont Solstice Parade, June 20, and Fremont Fair, June 20-21.

Seattle Times staff

Saturday's Fremont Solstice Parade celebrates art, community, creativity and the longest day of the year with only three rules: no printed words, no motorized vehicles and no animals.

"Some parade ensembles need more volunteers and everyone's welcome to join in," says Leslie Zenz, Solstice director and Fremont Arts Council board president. There's still time to get creative on your own or join with projects in progress at open studio time today and Friday.

This year's theme is "Phoenix Rising," with a grand float of a firebird rising out of ashes starting the parade, accompanied by samba drummers and dancers. New this year, a music stage, where Stone Way North meets North 34th Street, is for spectators to gather to ease crowd congestion at the beginning and end of the parade route.

About 200 bike riders are expected to carry on the parade's famous tradition of expressing themselves by wearing paint only.

"They're not an official part of the Arts Council but they're definitely a force to be reckoned with," Zenz says. "The festival is family-friendly and it's all in fun."

Fremont Fair, with music, arts and crafts, beer gardens and food, takes over the "Center of the Universe" neighborhood Saturday and Sunday, along with the Art Car Blowout display of more than 60 painted/sculpted/molded and modified cars. Other fair features include hands-on art activities for kids and teens, a rummage/urban art sale, and a University of Washington Botanic Gardens up-close look at the world of plants, with activities for kids and families.

Donations collected at the festival and parade will go to event sponsor Solid Ground's local anti-poverty programs. Seattle's "Give Your Car the Summer Off" campaign also is a festival sponsor and organizers encourage festivalgoers to bike, walk, skate, kayak or take the bus to get there.

Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade

Time: Parade at noon Saturday; fair from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Free; donations collected to benefit Solid Ground, providing shelter, food, advocacy and care for low-income residents of Seattle and King County.

Location: Fair in area bounded by Fremont Avenue North and First Avenue Northwest between North 36th Street and North Canal Street, Seattle; information booth at North 34th Street and Phinney Avenue North. Music, beer garden and food at Gas Works Park, noon-10 p.m. Saturday. Pre-parade art workshops 6-10 p.m. today and Friday at the Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle.

Getting there: There are no official fair parking areas, and parking is extremely limited. Streets are closed to traffic in the main fair area. Bicycle parking area provided. Metro Transit information: 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.metrokc.gov/.

More information: 206-297-6801 or www.fremontfair.org.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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