The creative juices were flowing in full force Wednesday afternoon as organizers of this year’s Summer Solstice Celebration began the final days of preparation for the weekend event.
A Community Arts Workshop space on Garden Street in downtown Santa Barbara bustled with activity ahead of the festivities, which typically draw more than 100,000 attendees over the three-day event.
Local volunteers learned how to make masks and costumes, some putting finishing touches on floats — based around the 2014 "Games" theme — that will debut at the annual parade that gets rolling at noon Saturday at State and Cota streets, following a route up State Street to Micheltorena Street.
Although the parade garners a lot of attention, the 40th annual Summer Solstice Celebration officially kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with live music entertainment at Alameda Park until 9 p.m.
Billed as the largest, three-day arts event in Santa Barbara County, the Saturday festival kicks off at noon with a drum circle open to all and entertainment on the main stage until 8 p.m.
On Sunday, the festival opens at noon with live entertainment on the main stage, DJ stage and children’s Mini Bowl, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Taking the main stage at 4 p.m. will be Ambrosia, a Southern California rock band with five Top 40 hit singles between 1975 and 1980, including “Holdin’ On to Yesterday.”
The Solstice Children’s Festival will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., complete with face painting, storytellers, juggling, bounce house, craft and food booths, and free art projects.
Organizers have hosted the community arts workshop at 631 Garden St. since May 16 and will finish up Friday.
Those interested in participating can show up between 3 and 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday.