Fremont Fair, parade launch summer in the Center of the Universe

The Fremont Fair adds an extra day to its annual celebration of the summer solstice at the Friday Night Pre-Party with summer brews and entertainment by five bands at the Main Stage Beer Garden. Hundreds of arts, crafts and food vendors, art activities, beer gardens, a wine-and-spirits garden and all the usual Fremont-style festivities continue Saturday and Sunday in the self-styled “Center of the Universe.”

Saturday’s Solstice Parade celebrates community, creativity and the longest day of the year (actually June 20 this year) in a procession that allows no printed words, no motorized vehicles and no animals.

Everyone’s invited to the Moonlight Float Move mini-parade at 9 p.m. Friday, glowing costumes and music-making encouraged, to move floats and giant puppets to the parade staging area.

The Solstice Parade starts at noon Saturday, preceded by bicyclists wearing body paint (at most). The parade lasts about two hours and ends with a Solstice Celebration party at Gas Works Park.

Art of all kinds is celebrated at the fair, with Fremont Abbey Arts for All activities encouraging creativity with chalk art, community painting and sculpture projects, and the use of recycled materials to create music-makers and more.

Another popular Fremont Fair tradition, the Seattle Art Car Blowout, displays more than 50 art-embellished vehicles in a parking lot at 35th Avenue North and North Evanston Street.

Sunday is Dads & Dogs Day, inviting all to celebrate Father’s Day, with dog activities featuring the first Dads and Dogs Parade at 2:30 p.m., doggy costumes encouraged. Sunday starts with Yoga for the Solstice, an hour of yoga practice for all levels at 10:30 a.m. on the Waterfront Stage; bring a mat and preregister to ensure space for everyone.

Parking in the area is extremely limited and some streets are closed for the event; coming on foot, by bike or on the bus is suggested. Events are free; donations to benefit local nonprofits are collected throughout the event.

The details

• Solstice Parade: Noon Saturday, following North 36th Street, Fremont Avenue and North 34th Street, from Third Avenue Northwest to Gas Works Park.

• Fremont Fair

Time: Beer garden and main stage only, 5-11 p.m. Friday; fair, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday (beer gardens open until 11 p.m.), 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Free; donations collected.

Dads and Dogs Parade: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, register 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., First Avenue Northwest and North 35th Street; $10 per family; benefits local off-leash areas.

Location: Main activities in area west of Fremont Avenue North on North 35th Street and North 34th Street/Canal Street, Seattle. Maps and programs at information stations at Phinney Avenue North and North 35th Street, and Evanston Avenue North and North 34th Street. Parking limited. Metro Transit information:             206-553-3000       or

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