This year, I decided to embrace the notion of fall this year, instead of dragging my feet kicking and screaming as I usually do. I have had a beautiful summer with phenomemal people and experiences. It is time to usher in a new season. In light of that, I was really excited to hear about the Luminata Lantern Parade in Fremont (my favorite part of Seattle). The Luminata Lantern Parade is a celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, and there is lanterns, so many lanterns.
I talked Eowyn, Kass, Kalina, Jenny and Tiffy into going to the Luminata parade with me. Eowyn’s only caveat was that I had to drive. Done! The Luminata Lantern Parade parade encourages ‘Burner Wear’ and costumes of all varieties. Eowyn digs an excuse to make costumes, so she ended up making her and I some tutus. I had never owned a tutu in my life, so I was pretty dang stoked about the prospect of being a full-grown (5’6″ counts as full-grown, yes?) adult and wearing a tutu. In fact, the very notion that I still own a tutu is filling me with delight.
We all carpooled together to the parade, and with the much needed help of Kalina, found our way to the boathouse on Greenlake. With lanterns and cookies in hand we arrived. Eowyn had grabbed some cute solar lanterns that we had at the house for us to use. However, they were not working by the time we arrived to Greenlake. Instead we supported the Fremont Arts Council and purchased a couple. These lanterns were beautiful and only $10.00!
The people lined up for this parade were a sight for sore eyes. Most of the crowd was costumed from head to toe in various glowing attire. Some had elaborate costumes and others just placed glowsticks on every available appendage. The lanterns stretched out as far as the eye could see. Many people had homemade some beautiful lanterns in the shape of hummingbirds, the moon, the sun, stars, and there was even one gentleman on stilts that had brought a huge well-lit preying mantis to walk in the parade. It was truly magical.
There were a couple bands playing happily in multiple locations, keeping a tempo that made you want to dance. Which was effective, seeing as I did dance a bit. There were people spinning glowsticks in fanciful patterns all around the edges while people gathered to get ready to start the parade. From where we were standing, we could not see the procession that started the parade. I think there was a boat that came in and some things that were said. People cheered, strangers offered me a delicious cookie and coconut water. Children were everywhere in costume with lanterns and glow sticks.
Taking a cue from the Burning Man playbook, I decided to attend the event with immediacy and not bring my camera. My camera distracts me from participating with people when I am super busy focusing on taking pictures. However, I was able to find some fabulous photos snapped by jplphoto which he graciously gave me permission to use. Show him some love by visiting here.
The people started to bustle with movement and you could tell something was happening. All of a sudden a man in a flaming hat sauntered by in a rather enthusiastic jaunt as the masses followed him. Lanterns of all shapes and sizes followed suit. Our motley crew of 11 or so hopped into the procession with glee. Carefully dodging other peoples lanterns on poles.
We walked around Greenlake at a semi-slow pace. The crowd parted around us here and there as we followed the lake around. The lanterns stretched out far in front of us. The lighted lead boat for the parade followed the procession on the lake. It was so beautiful, and I could not have been happier that I had attended with some of my closest friends. The music wafting around us in the warm air. It was breathtaking.
As the parade winded about a quarter mile. At the end of the parade path there were some beautiful light shows against the trees, another band playing, and stilt walkers were everywhere as people danced to the band. A canopy was set up where people could share the cookies they brought and hot apple cider awaited. I ran into more people that I knew while grabbing a glass of delicious cider. After laughing and dancing with friends some more, we decided to head out.
If you’re ever looking for a beautiful way to usher in Autumn, I highly recommend the Luminata Lantern Parade. The Fremont Arts Council really outdid themselves. I think I am going to make this an annual occurence going forward.