An estimated 75,000 spectators crowded State Street for the 2018 Summer Solstice Parade last weekend.
The Solstice committee selected “Heroes” as the theme to honor first responders who acted bravely and worked so diligently during and after last winter’s devastating Thomas Fire and subsequent flooding and debris flows. Like you've likely heard before, not all heroes wear capes.
The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, a non-profit helping Montecito residents, kicked off the parade with the La Boheme dancers.
"The healing that happens when people get recognition, for example Caltrans, they are going to be in this opening, nobody ever cheers them on," said Riccardo Morrison, Summer Solstice Artistic Director.
Despite the financial struggles which resulted from the fires and floods, the event organizers, volunteers and community came together through an online crowdfunding campaign and overcame in true Santa Barbara fashion.
“The creativity is robust, and we have been able to keep all three days of the festival. It has been a testament to the human spirit, and people are bringing out their inner heroes to make it possible this year.”
The nearly 800 parade participants used their energy and creativity to communicate a sense of rebirth and recovery.
"The image of the Phoenix coming out of the ashes and mud as we’ve just come from," said Morrison, describing the theme of several dance routines and floats.
For information visit: www.solsticeparade.com.