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Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade, Celebration Go Viral For 2020 Because Of Coronavirus Concerns

A float under construction for the 2019 Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade. Coronavirus concerns have cancelled the 2020 parade, but a virtual celebration is taking place.

This is normally a huge weekend on the South Coast.  It’s when Santa Barbara celebrates the start of summer with its Summer Solstice Celebration.  There’s a huge parade, with costumes and floats like you might see in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  But, coronavirus safety concerns cancelled this year’s events.

Still, there’s going to be a weekend long celebration. 

This year, it's an online event. Robin Elander is Executive Director of Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Celebration.  She says there are two virtual events Friday night.

The parade will kick off as it traditionally does at noon on Saturday.  But, again, instead of being a thousand people dancing their way up State Street with colorful costumes, and floats, it will be an online parade.  

Ricardo Morrison is the parade’s Artistic Director.  Morrison says while doing the parade online has limitations, it also opens up possibilities.  People are taking part with photos and videos from around the world.

The Solstice Celebration also traditional features an event in Alameda Park with food, drink and entertainment.  You’ll have to supply you own food and drink, but Elander says the entertainment will also be online.

You can see the parade, and take part in all of the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice activities through the Solstice website: