For over twelve years now I have been living in exile in Olympia, slowly learning to appreciate the quirky small town pleasures of Smurfville, but on occasion, I have managed to slip out and reunite with the people and places that inspire me. I once lived in Seattle, on the Wallingford/Fremont border, where, before there was city-wide curbside recycling, Armen Stepanian and his crew picked up the bottles, cans and newspapers of Fremont citizens at their homes.


I try to return every year to celebrate at the Fremont Solstice Parade, where recycled art is a way of life. This year there were one-man Junk Bands, children’s biodegradable cars (beyond biofuels), the box-worshiping Boxitanians, Ya-Ya’s for Ta-Ta’s, Recycled Earth, Foam Free Seattle (just say no to environmental degradation), the Salmon Bay School Recycling and Compost Team, the ivy-covered ReStore crew’s Green Garden Shed, the adorable Laundry Hi Jack, and adventures in consumerism with the Trash People, amongst others. I attempted to take some pics, but was really way too caught up in enjoying the moment to get any good photos. Check out the professional photographers here and here, the YouTube videos here, here and here (thanks, Second-hand Sid), and next year in Fremont!



19th Annual Fremont Solstice Parade — 3 Comments

  1. The Olydwellers that I meet tend to be quite insular (like Smurfs), proudly proclaiming “only in Olympia” about various creative and artistic and eco-oriented things that also happen in other communities, but they wouldn’t know, ’cause they act like the outside world is a threat to their special Olyville.

    Do anything out of the ordinary in Olympia, and folks will comment, “Oh, you must go/have gone to Evergreen,” like there is no other excuse for being unique (for the record, I am not a Greener). Olympia is nice, but a bit claustrophobic for me. And yet here I am, committed to living here and actively participating in Oly culture.

  2. Gee, you don’t sound committed, you sound more offensive to my little smurfville brain. That’s ok though. We welcome you big city, worldly people here too.