Originating as a birthday celebration, Santa Barbara, California's Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974. This parade was created for Michael Gonzalez, a Santa Barbara resident and a mime and artist. The parade is the largest single-day event in Santa Barbara County, attracting crowds of 100,000 people or more.
In 1974, artist and mime, Michael Gonzalez gathered some of his street performer friends to dance down State Street, Santa Barbara in celebration of his birthday. Each year the parade grew until this annual event encompassed street fairs, concerts, stage (theatre) performances, floats, costumes, and dancing ensembles .
There are few regulations regarding the content of the parade, and many of the floats are meant to be outrageous; some have sexual themes. For example, one recent float had a sexual bondage theme .