With the return of Santa Barbara’s Summer season Solstice Celebration simply days away, native artists have been arduous at work creating parade floats and costumes for a number of weeks.
Beginning in mid-Might, the Group Arts Workshop at 631 Backyard St. has been bustling with exercise as artists and parade individuals construct, paint, sew, and in any other case create floats, costumes, and masks for the parade.
This yr’s parade will start at midday Saturday on the intersection of Ortega and Santa Barbara streets with the theme “Shine,” touring up Santa Barbara Avenue and ending at Alameda Park (at Santa Barbara and Micheltorena streets) the place the Solstice Competition will probably be. The parade, which has not occurred since 2019 because of the pandemic, has a brand new route this yr since State Avenue is closed to visitors and has out of doors eating areas within the roadway.
Within the month earlier than annually’s parade, the Solstice Workshop is crammed with artists, a neighborhood is shaped, with many individuals decide to collaborating within the parade for years and even many years.
“It’s extra like a communitas, which implies it’s a brief neighborhood that comes collectively round an occasion,” mentioned Solstice inventive director Riccardo Morrison. “So, a few of us know one another as a result of we’ve been round for some time, and a few are new folks.”
Native artist Pali X-Mano has been creating inflatable-art floats for the Solstice Parade annually since 1990.
An artist works on one of many Solstice Parade floats, impressed by the crab within the film ‘Moana’ that collects shiny objects. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk picture)
This yr, X-Mano can have two floats within the parade: an “everlasting marriage ceremony” float, that includes a tree of life, marriage ceremony arch, and a skeleton “everlasting couple,” and an “everlasting flaming coronary heart” float, which incorporates X-Mano’s 25-foot inflatable coronary heart with aerialists inside.
Artist Mae Logan mentioned she has participated within the Solstice Parade for about 15 years, since she was 7 years previous, and her mom took half in Solstice earlier than Logan was born. This yr Logan is a masks maker, and that is her first yr on the Solstice employees.
“I principally grew up right here,” Logan mentioned. “I find it irresistible, it’s like my neighborhood.”
Different floats created within the workshop that may be seen in Saturday’s parade embrace a float impressed by a personality from the film “Moana,” the crab named Tamatoa who collects gold, shiny objects that he then shows on his shell.
A number of masks for the Summer season Solstice parade sit on cabinets within the Group Arts Workshop mask-making room. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk picture)
A lot of the supplies used to create floats and costumes for the parade are recycled or reused objects, or objects donated and obtained from Artwork from Scrap and native thrift shops.
Morrison mentioned there are about 20 floats on this yr’s parade, with entries starting from people or households with small floats to ensembles creating bigger floats.
One of many teams that participates within the Solstice Parade annually is the Go the Hat Ensemble, which incorporates its artist-in-residence Lisa Thomas, who has participated within the Solstice Parade over the past 30 years.
“(Go the Hat) is the one fundraising ensemble within the parade, and the mayor and Metropolis Council be part of us, in addition to some county supervisors,” Thomas mentioned. “It’s like these nice artists can come collectively for this someday they usually create this wonderful work.”
Whereas Solstice festivities are just some days away, Morrison mentioned employees can nonetheless use volunteers and other people keen to assist out for the weekend.
Artist Pali X-Mano stands along with his “everlasting couple” that will probably be featured in his “everlasting marriage ceremony” float within the Solstice Parade. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk picture)
“It’s nonetheless attainable to be within the parade,” Morrison mentioned. “We want pushers and pullers. It’s a human-powered parade and we want people for energy.”
He additionally mentioned volunteers are all the time wanted and welcome to assist with the clean-up after the parade, which he mentioned often lasts for about three weeks.
Anybody excited by serving to with the parade or clean-up can discover contact info on the Santa Barbara Summer season Solstice Celebration web site.
The Summer season Solstice Parade and the Solstice Competition are each free and open to the general public, with the parade happening on Saturday and the competition occurring from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Alameda Park, at Santa Barbara and Micheltorena streets.
The Solstice Competition can have reside music, meals and service provider distributors, and a beer and wine backyard for these age 21 and over.