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Fremont Solstice Parade | by Sal Celis
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Fremont Solstice Parade

From Wikipedia: The Fremont Solstice Parade is an annual event produced by the Fremont Arts Council (FAC), an organization that supports the arts and artists in and around the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Started in 1989 by Barbara Luecke and Peter Toms, the parade quickly grew to tens of thousands of spectators and hundreds of participants. The parade kicks off the Fremont Fair, a benefit for Solid Ground (originally known as the Fremont Public Association). On January 29, 2010, Solid Ground announced that it is turning over ownership of the fair to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.[1]

The Statue of Lenin in Seattle is a 16 foot (5 m) bronze sculpture of Bolshevik Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin located in the Fremont, Seattle, Washington neighborhood.

The statue was constructed by a Slovak Bulgarian sculptor, Emil Venkov, under commission from the Soviet and Czechoslovak governments. While following the bounds of his commission, Venkov intended to portray Lenin as a bringer of revolution, in contrast to the traditional portrayals of Lenin as a philosopher and educator. His Lenin marches ahead fiercely, surrounded by torrid flames and symbols of war.

Venkov's work was completed and installed in Poprad, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), in 1988, shortly before the fall of Czechoslovak communism during the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Despite popular belief, the Poprad Lenin was not toppled in the demonstrations during the fall of communism. Instead, it was quietly removed from Lenin's Square, in front of Poprad's main hospital, several months after the Velvet Revolution.

Lewis E. Carpenter, a resident of Issaquah, Washington, who was teaching English in Poprad, found the monumental statue lying in a scrapyard ready to be sold for the price of the bronze. In close collaboration with a local journalist and good friend, Tomáš Fülöpp, Carpenter approached the city officials with a claim that despite its current unpopularity, the sculpture was still a work of art worth preserving, and he offered to buy it for $13,000. After many bureaucratic hurdles, he finally signed a contract with the mayor on March 16, 1993.[1]

With the help of the original sculptor, the statue was professionally cut into three pieces and shipped to the United States at a total cost of $41,000. Lewis Carpenter financed much of that via mortgaging his home.


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Taken on June 22, 2013