Summer Lemonade – Summer Solstice


In case you missed the Santa Barbara Solstice parade, I hope you have a parade in your future. Long ago, I enjoyed the privilege to be on the Solstice board in the 70’s and early 80’s, with the local musical talent already in place – Jim Messina connected the event with top-grade local talent like Kenny Loggins, Jackson Brown, and Bonnie Raitt, who performed for free at the end of the parade.

The idea was to bring geographical and cultural blocks of Santa Barbara together. Neighbors and groups with common interests making their own toys, crafting their collective vision, then parading and flaunting it. An everyperson-peacock parade without shame.

Consequently, the originators produced a parade that included the sidelines, where the audience would join in. The founder, Michael Gonzalez was gay in a time (you have no idea) when it was extremely difficult to be so. He once quipped to me that at the beginning of his quest, “I thought of parading down State Street in a closet.”

Michael died of Aids in the early nineties and never witnessed the ongoing ten block spectacle it became. The experience combines exhibitionism with sideline participation. Just about everyone gets noticed … if they want to – Hermione