If You Can't Make Stonehenge, Find Your Solstice Spot in LA

Should we ever get so wrapped up in our small day-to-days and forget that we're on a planet that is moving through space, and that this particular planet will sometimes do things, like its axis will tilt toward or away from a nearby star, the solstices are here to remind us. And they do so twice a year, which is *so* nice of them.

Thank you, Summer Solstice. You too, Winter Solstice, although night falling around 5PM is a bit of a bummer. Still, no complaints.

The summer edition of the solstice is coming back around again, as it does: predictable, but we like it that way. And while the "big go" for solstice enthusiasts is getting to Stonehenge at dawn on the longest day of the year, there are galactic-vibed go-outs in and around Los Angeles.

SANTA BARBARA SUMMER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL: Our pretty sea-breezy neighbor to north-ish does it up big each Summer Solstice with a two-day festival and parade. It's colorful, it's filled with tunes, it has a theme -- in 2009 that's "Splash" -- and the pictures make us feel pre-sun-drenched, if such a thing is possible. Festival: June 19th-20th. Parade: June 20th

LIVE H2O UNITED BY LOVE: Yoga, eco-minded talks, a sacred water ceremony, and lots of musical acts are on the bill at this three-day festival. Long Beach, at Belmont Shore Beach on Granada Avenue. June 19th-21st

SUMMER SOLSTICE WALK: Happening on Sunday evening, June 21st, at gorgeous Crystal Cove State Park. Peaceful.

SUMMER SOLSTICE HIKE: Through Laguna Canyon; naturalists will be on hand to chat about flora. Saturday, June 20th

Note that the California Traditional Music Society's annual solstice party has been postponed; it will return in 2010.

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