Solstice Workshop Needs You for 50th Anniversary!

This Summer Solstice promises to be the best ever, celebrating its 50th anniversary! The Festival is officially off to a running start with the Anniversary Party and Open House at the Workshop this past Friday. Here are my photos!

There are many ways to get involved in Solstice and the Open House was just the beginning. I will say more about getting involved at the end.

Mayor Randy Rowse kicked off the festivities with a ribbon cutting:

California Assembly Member Gregg Hart gave Executive Director Penny Little an official plaque honoring this special Solstice anniversary. Justin Gunn (in feathery hat) is the new Solstice Board President and he is bursting with energy and ideas and welcomes your ideas! Riccardo Morrison (R) is back for another year of solving endless artistic, logistical and engineering challenges for anyone who needs help.

DJ Darla Bea was spinning the tunes for this festive event. Here she posed with Solstice artists Pali and Raven.

Local star John Palminteri also posed with Pali and Raven and our friend Diane Garmendia, who runs 33 Jewels on State Street.

Of course there was a birthday cake for the occasion.

The theme this year is “Flights of Fancy“. Which can have many meanings. This ensemble will create a world in which pigs fly!

Anhi Radvanyi (L) is an amazing aerialist and is trying to figure out where she will fit in best. Of course, Pali always has aerialists in his Grand Finale inflatable art creation. Mae Logan (R) is back again after her memorable Ent Forest ensemble last year.

Laura Smith (Center) has left Santa Barbara, but she is back for the duration of Solstice to run the Costume Shop!

Many artists competed for their art to appear on the Solstice poster and/or t-shirt. The winning entries were revealed and limited edition copies were auctioned off.

The auction continued with other items. Including this new Santa Barbara version of Monopoly, that includes Solstice! The Solstice art was created by Tessa Flanagan, who is in the photo below (L) alongside Solstice artist Phyllis Chiu (R).

Here are some more photos of Solstice people you may remember, along with some new people.

Merlie and I posed with Pali’s Dragon inflatable art

Again, there are many ways to get involved in Solstice. If you have a big idea, you can create your own ensemble. An ensemble does not necessarily involve a float. It can be a group of people in costume doing a performance. Many ensembles are dance groups. Others provide music. Some years ago several of us unicyclists played a game with several other people dressed as traffic cones, forming a slalom course that made its way up the street!

An ensemble can even be just one person inside some interesting float.

Most people prefer to join an ensemble that is already underway. You can help build floats, sew costumes and help with painting, carving, gluing or making paper mache. If you don’t know how, you can learn new skills! I already knew how to do construction with power tools, painting and paper mache. But I decided to learn something new. The costume shop people were very patient with teaching me to use the sewing machines and cut out patterns in fabric.

Pullers are needed to pull the floats up the parade route and back afterwards. In some cases that pays money and you get to be in the parade!

There truly is a place for everyone in the community to be a part of this community event!

The Workshop is at the corner of Ortega and Garden Street. It is open Wednesday through Sunday now and will be open every day as it gets closer to parade time. Come by and see the excitement, energy and creativity! And feel free to lend a hand! Everyone is welcome!

More information at the Solstice web site:

Robert Bernstein


Written by sbrobert

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