The Summer Solstice Parade and Celebration returned to Santa Barbara this weekend for the first time since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-day celebration took place on Friday and Saturday with the pinnacle of the celebration being the parade, which took place at noon on Saturday.
A full lineup of popular local and internationally known bands played at the 48th Summer Solstice Celebration 2022 Festival. All the concerts took place in Alameda Park on Friday from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday from 12-9 p.m. Friday night performances included: Queentide, Mashugana, The Framers, Glenn Annie and Rey Fresco.
“It was incredible, it was really, really special – it was huge. The turnout to watch was beyond incredible,” Robin Elander, interim program director for Solstice, told the News-Press.
“People were watching from different restaurants. There was a really significant crowd. It felt really good going up Santa Barbara street. I think the community was really excited to have the parade back. The participants really enjoyed themselves. Everything really came together and we could not be happier – approximately 85,000 attended the parade.”
“The return of Rey Fresco, the headline band on Friday night, was a special moment. It was nice to see them return after being away for a while. The lineup of DJs to the mainstage was a unique thing that hadn’t happened in the history of Solstice,” Warner Anderson, festival director, told the News-Press. Mr. Anderson estimated about 25,000-30,000 people hit the park following the Parade on Saturday.
Ms. Elander described how it felt to be back in person: “Beyond wonderful. It is just so good to be with the community again … We had a really good turnout. I was pleasantly surprised with how many people came out. I think people were excited to come out after the long break. We had more people come out on a Friday night than I believe we have ever had.”
Saturday’s performances included DJ Macintyre, Audiopool, Paper Idol, Traveler, Noble Grizwald, Uncle Uncle and GrooveShine.
“It’s amazing to have the festival back after being away for a couple years. The energy is amazing. The parade went well with no hiccups. I think people are really excited to have us back after being away. It’s pretty high energy out here. There is a great mix of young and old, kids and dogs. The energy is high. I think people are happy we are back. There are lots of smiling faces,” said Mr. Anderson.