Summer Solstice: SoCal Celebrates

The longest day of the year is nigh, so head for Griffith Observatory and Santa Barbara.

Giving the sun a little extra attention or special notice?

That's not difficult to do here in Southern California. In fact, if it isn't nighttime, and we're not under a heavy marine layer, we're probably out fully basking in the shine of our nearest star at some point of our day-to-day doings, which is no shocker, as that star does shine, quite proficiently, upon the hills and valleys of our sun-warmed region.

But when June 21 rolls up on the calendar, we seem to make mutual note to note the sun, due to the inarguable fact that we're about to enjoy the longest day of the year.

It's the summer solstice we speak of, and while the 21st day of the sixth month is woven through our sun-happy hearts, it is worth noting that the solstice officially arrives in our slice of the Northern Hemisphere on the night of June 20. 

You may choose to honor that moment, at 9:54 p.m. PST, in whatever time-honored, bang-the-drum, raise-the-vibes way you like, but there are multiple ways to dig deep into the science and celebratory nature of the cosmic occasion, both before and after it happens.

The "before" part'll come at Griffith Observatory — you probably guessed that — which is offering two free public programs on Tuesday, June 20. One happens at 12:45 p.m., which is solar noon on the June 20, while the other will take place at 7:50 p.m. on the landmark's West Terrace.

Learning and wonder? They shall both be accounted for and present.

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As for the "after"? There's one mondo party that sunnily springs to local mind, and it is the Summer Solstice Celebration in Santa Barbara.

How huge is this effervescent affair? It lasts for three days, with a very colorful, very costume-tastic parade down State Street on the middle day of the festivity, which is always a Saturday. The 2017 dates are June 23 through 25, if you want to join in.

And here in Santa Monica, on Main Street, you can soak in the music at Summer SOULstice 2017, and there shall be plenty to soak in: Expect 18 bands on six stages, and a host of vendors, food purveyors, libation pourers, and more.

Speaking of music, Make Music LA spreads out around the region on June 21, bringing that sun-bright spirit of the moment to listeners ready to make the most of the most daylight-doused day on the calendar.

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