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Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration Opens Friday

'Fantasy'-themed festival will be held in Alameda Park; the parade will get rolling at noon Saturday

This weekend, the 38th annual Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration in Alameda Park will again extend over three days, June 22-24. This year’s theme is “Fantasy.”

The free celebration will open at 4 p.m. Friday in Alameda Park at Micheltorena and Anacapa streets, with theatrical entertainment until 9 p.m.

On Saturday, the parade will move from Cota Street up State Street to Micheltorena before emptying into Alameda Park. After the parade, the festival will resume with entertainment until 8 p.m.

On Sunday, live entertainment will be performed from 1:30 to 6 p.m. on the main stage and the children’s stage. Arts and crafts booths, food booths, and a beer and wine garden will be open for all three days of the festival.

The Solstice Children’s Festival will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a variety of family and children’s activities, free art projects, booths and musical entertainment.

The Solstice celebration has grown into Santa Barbara’s largest arts event. It draws more than 100,000 spectators from around the world, with more than 1,200 parade participants. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Solstice Celebration has become a year-round endeavor by bringing the community together through the arts.

— Claudia Bratton is executive director of the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration.

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