Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration

1400 Santa Barbara St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

805-965-3396

History
Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974, as a birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. The Parade is the largest, single-day arts event in Santa Barbara County, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world. From these humble beginnings arose a celebration of life which, is like no other.

Today, the Summer Solstice Celebration has evolved into creative and original display of floats, whimsical costumes and masks of more than 1,000 parade participants, of all ethnic and economic backgrounds. There is dancing, music, drumming and drama that enthralls the spectators. Each year there is an annual artistic competition for the Solstice T-shirt and Poster design that is sold as a fundraising vehicle for the event.

The Festival in Alameda Park grew from the earlier gatherings at the sunken gardens of the County Courthouse. When the number of people outgrew the size of the courthouse the event was moved to Alameda Park. The Alameda Park is where everyone can enjoy a wonderful eclectic collection of live world music including famous local groups, food, arts and crafts. On Saturday only is a special free children's festival and a DJ area for dancing and enjoying techno music and a large drum circle keeps the beat going all afternoon. The festival now opens on Friday night and that evening is a music, dance and performance extravaganza that also includes a peak at some of the participants in the parade on the following day. Local talent is showcased at this event. Our arts and crafts area features a juried "fine art" area as well as an area for crafts from local artisans as well as from around the world. As a 501(c)3, nonprofit, community organization, the Summer Solstice Celebration group is responsible for carrying on Michael's delightful, multicultural performing arts celebration, and ensuring an extravagant celebration of life through art for many years to come.

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