Summer solstice is the start of summer, the longest day of the year, and the perfect chance to celebrate. The word “solstice” is derived from the Latin term “solstitium,” meaning “sun stands still,” and hopefully time will stand still so you can enjoy every second of that sunshine. Summer solstice has been celebrated in many different ways throughout history, and here are the ten best events happening in California this year.
Celebrate Summer Solstice At These 10 Fun California Events
1. Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration
This Southern California event brings more than 100,000 visitors from around the world and has been around since 1974. Known as a unique celebration of creative expression, the celebration has a different them every year. The theme for 2017 is "Celebrating Unity." To get more involved, anyone can help create the parade floats, masks and costumes! After the parade, sip on some cocktails while you watch the sun set over the harbor.
Find a place to stay in Santa Barbara, California
2. Long Beach WomanSpirit Summer Solstice Faire
This group of women have set out to help spark the growth of the Goddess-consciousness and women's spirituality in us all. To celebrate the summer solstice, they bring together musicians, dancers, speakers, healers, fortune tellers, vendors, and more to honor the goddesses.
Find a place to stay in Long Beach, California
3. Griffith Observatory Summer Solstice Events
Griffith Observatory was built specifically to create effects when the solar system is aligned for the solstices. On the summer solstice, when the sun is in its highest position in the sky, the sun’s projected image crosses the engraved meridian arc of the Gottlieb Transit Corridor on the west side of the Observatory. The sunset aligns with an engraved marker and stone line laid into the pavement on the terrace. How cool is that?
Find a place to stay in Los Angeles, California
4. Summer Solstice Festival at Muckenthaler Center
Celebrate summer with an afternoon in Fullerton filled with live music, food, craft beer and plenty of activities. Discover local craft breweries in the Beer Garden while the kids enjoy the free children's art events and play area. Stroll through the galleries inside the Muckenthaler Villa and learn about the history of the Muckenthaler Family.
Find a place to stay in Fullerton, California
5. Main Street Summer Soulstice
Get a free ticket to the 17th Annual summer solstice celebration in Santa Monica. There's live music, sidewalk sales, dining, kids activities, and more. The 13-block music festival has four stages and some of the best tribute bands ever!
Find a place to stay in Santa Monica, California
6. Make Music LA
Make Music Los Angeles is a live, free music celebration with concerts on the streets, sidewalks and parks across the country. The festival has become an international phenomenon celebrated in over 800 cities in 110 countries including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, and Japan. You can participate in multiple locations around Los Angeles.
Find a place to stay in Los Angeles, California
7. Downtown San Mateo Summerfest
2017 marks the 5th annual summer solstice celebration in San Mateo. Spend the day perusing arts and crafts booths, watching cooking demonstrations, enjoying live entertainment, and snacking on tasty food. There are even great children activities such as bounce houses and play areas.
Find a place to stay in San Mateo, California
8. Sunrise Summer Solstice Ceremony by Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary
Celebrate the summer solstice in Freestone at the Temple Gardens at Osmosis, where they celebrate the sun at the height of its power and rekindle the spirit upon which we have built, and continue to empower our unique culture and community. Starting at 8am, you'll will embark on a ritual journey of conscious and sacred engagement with self, spirit and the earth in a way that is inspiring and deeply nourishing. The event is free but requires reservations.
Find a place to stay in Freestone, California
9. North Bay Reclaiming Summer Solstice
Reclaiming is an organization of feminist modern witchcraft. The North Bay Reclaiming community gathers for public rituals and gatherings at all eight points of the Wheel of the Year including summer solstice, winter solstice, autumn equinox and spring equinox. Their rituals are open to anyone, and you choose how much you'd like to participate.
Find a place to stay in Sebastopol, California
10. Summer Sailstice San Francisco Festival
Sail over to Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda to kickoff the summer with a small boat regatta, harbor stroll, boat building competition, and other nautical activities. Summer Sailstice is celebrated around the globe and is Northern California's largest on-the-water celebration. Partake in free sailboat rides for the entire family, and finish off the evening with the PirateCon party.
Find a place to stay in San Francisco, California
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.