Beloved Fremont floats need a place to stay...
Beloved Fremont floats need a place to stay... B. Smith

A plea from Seattle City Council Members Lisa Herbold and Mike O’Brien.

The beloved Fremont Solstice Parade will hit the streets June 17 for the 29th year, but it might be the last.

The Fremont Arts Council (FAC) keeps float trailers and a container of parade materials in storage for all their events each year. The float bodies have been accumulated over many years and are essential to the event; they provide them free to the community for use in creating floats and art ensembles.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has provided storage space in the past, but is not able to renew their permit for outdoor storage due to construction. The floats were removed from storage this weekend to prepare for the 2017 parade, and at this point—they cannot go back; they have until August 7 to be completely out of the current storage location.

This means that after the parade this year they will have no choice but to destroy the float bodies, and a multitude of critical supplies they also use to create Luminata, Trolloween, Feast of the Winter Solstice, and other events.

Efforts have been underway for months to find an alternate, affordable storage solution, but nothing has come to fruition. We’ve asked the City’s Finance and Administrative Services to help find City property but fear that there are simply no viable options.

The Fremont Arts Council needs your help; they need a storage solution, not too far from Fremont, where they can put our container and float bodies. They need about 2,500 square feet. Outdoor storage is fine; they can provide fencing. They’ve been paying rent and can do so in the future. If you own space or know anyone who has a space available, please contact them as soon as possible at: FAC@FremontArtsCouncil.org.

The Fremont Solstice Parade is not a neighborhood-only block party, but one of just five City-Wide events designated by the City of Seattle.

The FAC did not just go out and buy all of the equipment, supplies, and float bodies. They have been accumulated and cared for over the past three decades by volunteers. It's important that the larger community understand that without this resource, these events will not be produced again, and some of Seattle's most vibrant and exciting signature events will come to an end.

Please help us prevent such a terrible loss to Fremont, the City of Seattle, and to all of those who travel from all around the Puget Sound region and beyond to join us in this celebration where everyone is an artist.