The Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade & Festival is an annual event that travelers will do well to consider when planning their early summer escapes to Southern California. Of all the single-day arts events in Santa Barbara County, the parade is the largest. It attracts more than 100,000 people. Complementing the parade is a festival that is held over the course of several days. The parade marches its way through the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, and the majority of the festival’s celebrations are also held downtown at Alameda Park.
Saturday is most often the day of choice for the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade. Among other things, this parade features extravagant floats, an array of wonderful costumes, and creative dancing ensembles. Noon is typically the starting time, and approximately one hour later, the procession begins to arrive at Alameda Park. The final entry segment usually appears closer to 2 pm. Once at Alameda Park, parade participants and viewers alike can indulge in the various offerings of the Summer Solstice Festival. These offerings include, but are not limited to, live music performances, food, beverages, and an arts and crafts boutique with more than 75 artisans and craftsmen. Families should know that there is also a special children’s area that caters to little ones.
Those who are interested in partaking in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade & Festival should know that Parade and Festival maps can be obtained as soon as early June. Among the things that these maps detail include the parade route, the festival location, and downtown parking areas. Also worth noting is the fact that the Santa Barbara hotels can fill up fast when this fun-filled bash is underway. Booking a room well in advance is recommended.
Top image: Damian Gadal (flickr)