Seattle saw a massive group of eighty painted naked cylists in the 2003 Fremont Summer Solstice Parade, four times as many as in years previous. They also officially joined the Fremont Arts Council event by hosting a float for the first time.
Be sure not to miss the article by John Cornicello and Daniel Johnson in the Fall 2003 edition of Nude and Natural (N) magazine and find out about the details of this year’s historic procession both before and during the parade as well as an overview of the cyclists in the parade since the late 1990’s.
Above, Superman addressing the crowd at Cowen Park, before the three mile procession began through the city to the parade entrance. Below, the group stops at a busy intersection in Seattle’s University District. Photography by Jacob Sayles (2003).
The Fremont Arts Council in Seattle produces local celebrative art events including the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade, Trolloween, the Feast of the Winter Solstice, and the May Day Maypole Dance.
Many body-celebrative participants such as the Nekkid Bicyclists have been well-received by Fremont Summer Solstice Parade goers year after year and have introduced tens of thousands of citizens to healthy body positive attitudes in a festive way. 2003 finally saw the answer to the question: when will the Nekkid Bicyclists be included officially in the parade and when will the police stop threatening to arrest them?
As some may remember, the 2001 event was marked by a police threat of arrest of any naked participants and, if nudity in the parade was not discouraged by the FAC, a possibility of shutting down the festival in the future by revoking the event’s permit. At the last minute the police where told to back off and the crowd was delighted to see the Nekkid Bicyclists make an appearance. In their own way the Nekkid Bicyclists are laying the groundwork for body acceptance in Seattle and abroad. Perhaps the group will also show up at other times during the year.
:: chronology ::
Top left, the bicyclists were greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm by the locals along 45th street, the main drag through Wallingford. Top right, A couple of authentic streakers, like many of the early Nekkid Bicyclists, join the procession in the U-district. Bottom left, Turning on Phinney Avenue to begin the wind downhill to the parade entrance in Fremont. Bottom right, A banana slug cycles through Wallingford. Photography by Jacob Sayles (2003). Click on image for larger view.
Daniel’s posterior. This year was the first time he participated in the Solstice Parade naked. He was one of several going for a weather theme. Photo above by JC. Click on image for larger view
Below, Nekkid Bicyclists at the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle. Year and origin of photo unknown. Click on image to view at larger size.
:: selected deleted material from the 2003 N article ::
At the same time the communal painting was going on [during the 2003 bodypainting party], a video production crew from Circle Rock Productions was on hand filming the painting and conducting interviews. The title of the film is “Invitation to Stare: A Documentary on the Art of Bodypainting”.
Troy McFarland had this to say about those who showed up without an artistic contribution:
“unless you have a really interesting birthmark, it would be much better if everyone painted themselves up first.”
Fortunately the weather was just cool and sunny enough to be at the perfect temperature when cycling to the parade and held up until the last thirty minutes of our time on the float. Wishing the crowd a happy summer solstice on the last wet and cold stretch seemed to take on an unusual Seattle twist.
: The Young O Experience :
Young O loves to get out and share his love for “NW Living Experiences and its rich Culture” through his unique photographic vision, often assisted by a third party. Young believes that his photography shows that “we All Belong and Our Region of NW’s highly prized Culture, which hopefully enhances Quality of LIFE by appreciating one another in more sensible manners.”
All are sure to enjoy the “Humorously Participating Photography” experience when visiting Young O’s CLUBPHOTO Albums
Young O on the Painted Cyclists:
“Fremont Street Fair has been rather well known for its Ingenuity of Individualistic Free Expression and Painted Cyclists as its major attraction on Solstice Celebration and Fertility. The Painted Forms delighted at the carnival setting of fair, as it could had been considered tailored out by the most fancy garments of advancement.”
Below, Young O poses with cyclists. Image courtesy of Young O (2003).