Sunday, June 17, 2007

An Open Letter to the Fremont Arts Council regarding the 2007 Fremont Solstice Parade

Dear Fremont Arts Council, I usually regard your annual Solstice Parade as one of the most pure and enjoyable spectacles of Seattle. The feeling I have come away in the past is one of hope, joy and connectedness to my fellow Solstice-ites. And despite all the crazy stuff I've seen before, I have never once thought I would hesitate to bring a child to this parade--until now. So there we were on Saturday with Karen, Court and Little B in our lawn chairs eating bagels, sipping beverages and praising the perfect parade weather: not too hot, not too cold, slightly overcast with sun breaks. And let me tell you, there is nothing I look forward to more than some naked, painted bicyclists.... And it all started off splendidly with more naked, painted bicyclists then I have ever seen in my life. The police even left them alone as they patrolled the parade route. But Fremont Arts Council, you have rules: (1) No printed words or recognizable logos. (2) No live animals (except guide animals). (3) No motorized vehicles (except necessary wheelchairs). (4) No (real) weapons. And so do I. There is a line and it was crossed this weekend. Take a look at your audience lining the parade route. About half of them are children. Are you mindful of them? In the approved line up there were "Puff the Magic Dragon"--a group that encouraged the use of pot and "Your Friendly Neighborhood BBQ" featuring all participants dressed in Bondage S&M gear. What's up with that? What happened to the many samba and marching bands? What happened to the drill teams and dance groups? What happened to the giant puppets and stick walkers? What happened to that family friendly fare that inspires and delights? Instead we got a beat over the head with political statements and lifestyle choices. That's as offensive as printed words and recognizable logos--your rule number one. Mark my words, if there continues to be overt drug and sexual references, you'll lose a lot of spectators (even liberal-minded ones) who will put their children's best interest before a thinly-veiled romp of hedonism. There were some highlights of the parade: the Egyptian group- and the Ents-

But to be completely honest, the line-up was badly-spaced and underwhelming compared to year's passed. We contributed some money to next year's parade fund in hopes that this was just a off year. I really hope it was an anomaly. I really do. Sincerely, Kali


Complete Photo Album Here:


Anonymous said...

What did you think about the cirkus with the Band.. Pure cirkus??

Kali Sakai said...

Ah yes, from the perspective of kid-friendly, Pure Cirkus was way too loud and heavy metal hard core for them. But personally, I did like that group.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I dunno... Pure Cirkus went over pretty well with the kids around us - and they ranged in age from 2-ish to 10.

Depends on the kids, I guess...

As for the S&M BBQ, well... where do you draw the line between them & the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence? I think they've participated in the parade every year that we've attended.