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Workshops for Summer Solstice Celebration Begin Saturday

Open house from 3 to 5 p.m. will kick off this year's parade preparations

The 2011 Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Workshop Open House is planned for 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, May 14, at 631 Garden St. It is the official opening of the workshop for this year’s parade.

Those who attend the workshop can meet the artists, costumers, mask makers and technical staff to see what is planned for the Solstice Parade, which begins at noon June 25. Snacks and beverages will be provided at the workshop. This year’s posters and T-shirts will be available for purchase.

“This year’s theme, ‘Jungle,’ will make it easy to figure out what ensemble you want to join,” Solstice director Claudia Bratton said.

Starting Saturday regular workshop hours will be noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

On May 21, a Solstice Art Swap and Rummage Sale is planned from 9 a.m. to noon, before the workshop that day. Click here for a list of needed art supplies and materials. Those with supplies can bring them to the sale to barter for “Solstice Ducats” and use them or their dollars to buy items in the rummage sale.

“It will be a fun day of bargains — costumes, some giant puppets, tools and props,” Bratton said.

For more information, call the workshop at 805.965.5535.

For the first time in its 37-year history, the Solstice Celebration in Alameda Park will extend over three days, June 24-26. It opens at 4 p.m. June 24 in the park, with theatrical and musical entertainment until 9 p.m. The festival resumes at noon June 25 with entertainment until 8 p.m. The Solstice Children’s Festival is open from noon to 6 p.m. June 25-26 with a variety of family activities, free art projects, booths and musical entertainment.

On June 26, live entertainment from 1:30 to 6 p.m. will be on the main stage featuring soft jazz music as well as entertainment on the children’s stage from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Arts and crafts booths, food booths and a beer and wine garden will be open for the three days of the festival.

The celebration has grown into Santa Barbara’s largest arts event, drawing more than 100,000 spectators from around the world, with more than 1,000 parade participants. As a nonprofit community organization, Solstice Celebration has become a year-round organization, bringing the community together through the arts.

— Claudia Bratton is director of the Summer Solstice Celebration.


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