Also referred to as midsummer, summer solstice is the longest day of the year since it features an extended period of sunshine. The phenomenon marks the start of summer and typically falls on a single day in the latter half of mid-June. It’s a seasonal occurrence that happens when the earth tilts toward the sun at a specific angle. Accordingly, several cities throughout the country not only acknowledge summer solstice, but fill the day with festivities.
Celebrate Summer Solstice In These 10 U.S. Places In 2017
1. Seattle, Washington
Every year in neighborhood of Fremont, the area hosts a parade and fair. The Fremont Parade and Fair’s vivacious atmosphere and energy is similar to that of Mardi Gras. There are gorgeous floats, nude cyclists with brightly-painted bodies, and attendees and parade marchers dressed up in ostentatious costumes.
2. Santa Barbara, California
The Summer Solstice Celebration in the Californian beach city is an arts festival that spans over three days. Founded in 1974, the event began as an extravagant birthday party for the city’s prominent mime and artist Michael Gonzales. Eventually, the fair evolved into an even larger affair and continues to draw thousands of visitors yearly. The Summer Solstice Celebration includes an art contest, live music, and parade with huge puppets, showy costumes, and creative floats.
3. Anchorage, Alaska
The popular Alaskan city celebrates its Downtown Summer Solstice Festival annually. The fair is family-friendly with a designated play zone for children and diverse foodie area where local Alaskan food trucks and chefs highlight scrumptious dishes. Additionally, the event boasts an arts and crafts market where art vendors display and sell handcrafted works.
4. New York City, New York
The bustling northeastern metropolis welcomes the longest day of the year with Make Music New York, a series comprising hundreds of free music concerts spread throughout each of the major boroughs. The performances begin in the morning until nighttime and occur in both indoor and outdoor public spaces.
5. Laramie, Wyoming
The University of Wyoming Art Museum hosts a yearly free celebration in honor of summer solstice. The institution transforms the day into an immersive, educational experience as the Laramie Astronomical Society allows guests to safely glimpse at the sun’s surface through a filtered solar telescope. Moreover, at noontime on midsummer, a silver dollar that’s set into the floor of the Rotunda Gallery becomes illuminated from the sunlight emitted from a solar tube in the ceiling.
6. Geneva, Illinois
The city of Geneva calls its midsummer fair the Swedish Days Festival. The annual event offers a parade, music competition, kid-friendly carnival rides, live entertainment, and booths vending delicious food. True to its name, the celebration exudes Swedish charm and honors the robust culture.
7. Kaleva, Michigan
Founded by Finnish immigrants in 1900, the Midwestern village observes Juhannus, the traditional name for summer solstice in Finland. Locals camp out at Kaleva Roadside Park and picnic or participate in the exciting events hosted by the community.
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8. Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture holds a free public midsummer event each year. It takes place in the evening and includes dancing, food trucks, arts and crafts activities for kids of all ages, and free admission to several of Harvard’s museums including the Museum of Natural History and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
9. Fairbanks, Alaska
When it comes to midsummer, this Alaskan city knows how to celebrate. Since the early 1900s, the city of Fairbanks has observed the day annually with a baseball game called the Midnight Sun Game. Without using any artificial sources of light, the game kicks off at Growden Memorial Park at around 10:30 PM and ends the following day in the afternoon. Famous baseball players made appearances at past Midnight Sun Game events.
10. Toledo, Ohio
On the Saturday of summer solstice, the Shoreland Firefighters Association presents the Toledo community with Summerfest, a civic celebration filled with carnival rides, food vendors, and vibrant music with a live DJ. At night, the fair boasts a spectacular fireworks display.
This article was written by Justina Tran.