Good Ole’ Summer Solstice Time

This week is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It is kind of confusing when you think of “day” as 24 hours. Is there a day that is longer than 24 hours?  Lately they all seem that way to me, lol. Anyway it is a scientific designation not an hour designation. Technically it should be called the day when we have more sunlight than any other day of the year.

Rooted in Scandinavian culture it is a true celebration of nature and the beautiful outdoors. As you can imagine in Scandinavia, outside is not exactly a year round desirable option. I am sure any sign of warmth is a reason to rejoice given their winters. Even though in most areas in the U.S. we do not experience anything like Scandinavian winters we still never miss an opportunity to have a party. So this week we hold our own tributes to Summer Solstice. Even though the actual summer solstice date in always June 21, the official start to summer, most of the events listed here take place on the weekend a few days later. But we are not going to split hairs since as I mentioned before, any excuse for a party!

Some of these events clearly say “summer solstice” in the title, others aren’t so specific but are summer celebrations none the less. Some are just Summerfest, which translated means summer fest, lol. I was trying to see if you were paying attention. I hate to sound so serious about this with boring explanations and historical facts so I am done now.

Also I threw in a few music events like the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival, the Star-Spangled Celebration, Jazz in June Country Jam, Chippewa Valley Country Fest and the Elkhart Jazz Festival. Although none of these is a strict salute to summer, they are all wonderful music experiences in the fresh air and sunshine.

The events this week will have you outdoors and loving it. If you check out this list and do not see anything near you, please use the search box above to find things in your backyard. Grab the kids, grand parents, grand kids, neighbors, mailman or dog, just grab someone to share the day with and have some summer fun!

Summer Fest

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Kiser Firemans Park Oregon, WI US 53575

Since 1967, carnival, music, softball, volleyball, arts fair, craft show, mini horse fair and petting zoo, tug-o-war, bingo, food, parade and high school band competition,
12,000 Attendees

Sixth Avenue Summerfest

Jun 23, 2012

6th Avenue at 33rd Street New York, NY US 10013

Since 1997, features over 300 International food, art, craft, antique and merchandise exhibitors will create a midway along 6th Avenue. Many cultural displays will be on view, plus a wide variety of multi-ethnic and entertainment will be present throughout the festival. Takes place along Sixth Avenue, from 23rd to 33rd Streets.
80,000+ Attendees

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Ellis Park Chicago, IL US 60605

Since 1985, festival offers national, international and local Gospel entertainment. Takes place at different locations. Fours days of some of the best Gospels music presented live. Please check the website for times and locations of performances.
10,000 Attendees

Elkhart Jazz Festival

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

New Life Community Church Elkhart, IN US 46514

Since 1988, premiere event uniting over 100 internationally known jazz greats in jam sessions throughout the weekend. Set in the heart of the band instrument manufacturing capital of the nation. Takes place at various locations throughout the area.
11,000+ Attendees

Star-Spangled Celebration

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 23, 2012

Krouskop Park Richland Center, WI US 53581

Since 1994, country music festival with food, beer garden, line dancing and fireworks.
10,000 Attendees

Country Jam

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Country Jam USA Ranch Mack, CO US 81525

Since 1993, four days of country music performed by the top country acts in the world. Continuous music from award winning performers and promising new acts. Camping, food, beer tents and lots of good wholesome outdoor country fun.
110,000 Attendees

Jazz in June

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 23, 2012

Andrews Park and Amphitheater Norman, OK US 73069

Since 1984, Jazz in June, Norman’s outdoor jazz and blues festival, continues its tradition of bringing Oklahoma and national jazz and blues artists together to perform free for the public. Join the citizens of Norman as they celebrate local musical talent and experience a diverse range of musical artistry at its best. Grab some popcorn from a festival food vendor, kick back on a blanket or lawn chair and simply relax to the smooth sounds of the blues. In addition to the main stage acts, there will also be accompanying music clinics taught by several artists during Friday’s festivities. Bring your instrument of choice Thursday and Saturday and participate in late- night jam sessions taking place at various locales around Norman.
55,000 Attendees

Chippewa Valley Country Fest

Jun 21, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Chippewa Valley Music Festival Site Cadott, WI US 54727

Since 1987, over 20 national country artists, 2,000 campsite areas, big screen video, food and crafts.
132,000 Attendees

Monterey Bay Blues Festival

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Monterey Fairgrounds Monterey, CA US 93940

Since 1986, food, arts and crafts and performers of the highest quality in the art of the blues. Three stages of entertainment.
30,000 Attendees

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Clatsop County Fairgrounds Astoria, OR US 97103

Events and entertainment continue all day. There is something for everyone – food, dancing, music, colorful folk- costumes and crafts will be found during this Midsummer celebration. Watch out for the Troll though, he is a notorious kisser. Don’t forget The Viking Feast.

Codorus Summer Blast

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Codorus State Park Hanover, PA US 17331

Since 2002. Codorus Blast has become the area’s can’t- miss outdoor family event of the year. The event features three days of exciting activities and continuous entertainment ideal for all ages. Activities already scheduled for this year include a fireworks display Saturday night, live bands including Pentagon Friday night, The Willys and 6 Cents Saturday and Borderline and Leah Burkey Sunday, DockDogs competitions throughout the weekend, a triathlon, rides and games, educational displays, shopping and food vendors and much more.
45,000+ Attendees

Art In The Sun Festival

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Downtown Northville Northville, MI US 48167

Since 1989. For two days in the middle of summer the quiet town of Northville becomes a haven for art lovers. It opens it’s streets to artists from all across the Midwest for the Northville Art in the Sun Festival.
20,000 Attendees

Summer Solstice Parade and Festival

Jun 22, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012

Santa Barbara County Courthouse Santa Barbara, CA US 93101

The Summer Solstice Celebration has evolved into a street carnival of more than 1,000 parade participants, of all ethnic backgrounds, complete with extravagant floats, whimsical costumes and creatively choreographed dancing ensembles. metal, glass, fiber and wearable fashion. Children’s Area will feature a stage with storytellers, musicians, drama, mimes and more. At the festival, Kids can jump on an air bouncer, have their faces painted and work on free art projects. Arts and crafts boutique with more than 75 vendors. Mouthwatering foods and thirst quenching beverages from local restaurants. Plus great entertainment.

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