Four Sunshiny Soirees: Summer Solstice Contd.

The longest day of the year is over, but the sun-bright bashes carry on.

Daylight, says science and people and magazines and TV shows and every other source that produces opinions, is on the whole good for us and everything that's alive.

We know this — we crave a dose of beamful rays come the gloomier days of winter — but we don't often pause to give the daytime its full and festive due.

A prime moment to give due typically arrives on the longest day of the year, which was June 20 in 2016. But as that was a workaday Monday, the biggest bashes surrounding the summer solstice are scheduled to fall over the first weekend of summer.

Or perhaps "rise" is more accurate. The two-day stretch of sunny soirees begins at sunrise at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday, June 25. Actually, make that 5 a.m., which is a pinch before sunrise. What's the theme of the gathering? Watching our nearest star come up over "Levitated Mass," the mega boulder at the mid-city museum. 

Yoga and morning beverages are part of the ticketed LACMA Local event.

Later in the day, and up the coast, one of California's biggest solstice celebrations will unfurl like a colorful banner. It's Santa Barbara's famous Summer Solstice Parade, a procession that has been around since the '70s. Costumes, inflatables, and pretty things that flap in the breeze are hallmarks of the popular event.

Should you want to keep the beams turned up high through the following day, both Fullerton and Santa Monica will be going the solstice-honoring route, and both for free (like the Santa Barbara parade).


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The Muckenthaler Cultural Center's afternoon jamboree on June 26 will include tunes -- zydeco favorites Lisa Haley and the Zydekats will be there -- and food booths and craft beers, too. Meanwhile, on Main Street in Santa Monica, the Main Street Summer SOULstice will feature four stages, lots of live music, a petting zoo, and a food court and beer garden.

Our nearest star rises in the east once a day, and twice on the weekend — spoiler alert? — but there's a way to honor it four times over two days, in a quartet of SoCal and up-the-coast locations.

Four solstice parties in the span of a weekend won't change the sun's path, but it should remind revelers to stop and enjoy the sunshine, especially when summer kicks into full, glorious gear.

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