The future looks bright for the Fremont Solstice Parade thanks to a new partnership between the Fremont Arts Council and Seattle City Light. A permit for use of a City Light property has been signed by the Fremont Arts Council to store materials for the community-based arts parade, which was in danger of shutting down, as their lease could not be renewed at their current storage location due to construction.
In June 2017, Seattle City Light learned through the City of Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services that the Fremont Arts Council was urgently looking for a new site to store float trailers and parade materials. The Environment, Land and Licensing Unit identified a City Light-owned property that was about to become vacant and contacted the Fremont Arts Council.
“As an important part of the history and fabric of our City, I am pleased we were able to work with the Fremont Solstice Parade to find a great space that allows us to preserve the parade,” said Mayor Murray.
“The Arts Council brings a huge amount of social and cultural good to the City of Seattle. We have an amazing legacy of community art and have accumulated supplies over time that allow us to put on the Fremont Solstice Parade, but those things need to be stored. A month ago we got to a point where we realized we might have to destroy our floats. We were squarely looking the end of this parade in the face,” said Peter Toms, co-founder of the Fremont Solstice Parade. “City Light contacted us and wanted to help. The new site is literally on the staging area for the parade. It’s fantastic. It couldn’t be any better.”
The approximately 4,000 square foot open-air site is located at 3616 3rd Avenue NW in Fremont. To assist in a timely transition from their current location, the Fremont Arts Council is signing a month-to-month permit for use effective Aug. 1 with the intent to pursue a long-term contract.
“This is a great example of partnership that will keep a beloved tradition alive,” Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO Larry Weis said. “I applaud our employees, the community leaders and volunteers involved in this agreement for coming together to ensure the Fremont Solstice Parade will go on. I’m particularly thankful to Real Estate Manager Maureen Barnes and Senior Real Property Agent Greg Aramaki for their leadership in securing the space and permit for parade.”
“The Fremont Solstice Parade is one of the most popular parades in Seattle,” Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film + Music + Special Events said. “Thousands turnout every year to celebrate the summer, display their creative spirit, and embody Seattle’s whimsical nature. I am delighted the tradition will continue.”
“We are so grateful for the support from City Light. We intend to use the space to continue to enliven Seattle through celebration arts! Next year is our 30th Annual Fremont Solstice Parade. Thanks to their creative thinking and quick action, we will continue with our human-powered spectacle of colorful and quirky delights!” said Fremont Arts Council President Susan Harper.