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Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration Going To Be Virtual Again, But With Major New Elements

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(KCLU photo)
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One of the floast being created for the 2019 Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade

Will go from one weekend to month long event

The unique sights, and sounds brightened the streets of Santa Barbara one Saturday every June for decades.

If you've never seen Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Parade, it’s sort of what would happen if you took a bunch of artists, teamed them up with hundreds of volunteers, and let them create a wild Mardi Gras style parade.

But, for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, we won’t see the colorful floats, and hundreds of costumed participants dancing, or walking their way up State Street. Last year, the celebration had to be a virtual one. This year, it will also be virtual, but much more elaborate.

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(KCLU photo)
An artist at work at the 2019 Santa Barbara Summer Solstice workshop

Robin Elander is Executive Director of the Summer Solstice Celebration.

She says planning the parade takes a year, and creating the floats, and costumes can take months. She says we still aren’t at the point where we can have an event with 100,000 spectators, like the parade.

But, even though we won’t see a live parade, there will be a parade, and much more this year. People can take part by decorating their homes and businesses. And, one of the Solstice artists will create inflatable works which will be displayed around the community.

And, even the parade will take on a new look this year, with technology being used to put the virtual parade's participants back on State Street, using green screen technology.

With the community art installations, the home and business decorations, and the virtual parade, the idea is to turn Solstice into a month long celebration this June.

People who want to participate are going to have to get started on their costumes. The first virtual parade recording sessions are next week, and the goal is to get them done by early June, so there is time to get the event ready for airing around Summer Solstice.

You can find a link to more information on the celebration, and how you can participate at: www.solsticeparade.com