Summer Solstice: Fairies in the Garden, Solar Panels on the Roof
It is the day the sun is said to stand still, the wedding of earth and sky, the first day of summer, and the longest of the year. The pagans celebrated by staying up all night. In the Rural Intelligence region, there are a range of ways to express joy at the arrival of summer—get in touch with your inner Druid by greeting the dawn or kick up your heels in one or more of these less exhausting ways.
While we are celebrating our summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the South Americans are heralding the first day of winter. The Incas called this day Inti Raymi and until it was suppressed by the Catholic Church in 1535, it was the most important holiday of their year (it has since been revived as a tourist attraction in Cusco, Peru, photo left). In Hudson, Inti Raymi will be celebrated with a daylong festival of traditional Incan crafts, as well as dancing accompanied by indigenous music performed by an Equadorean group, Yarina. At 3 p.m. a parade of children, their parents, and anyone else who cares to join in will assemble at Time & Space Limited (440 Columbia Street) and weave through town bearing colorful banners until it finally rejoins the party in the park near the train station. Festivities will culminate at 5 p.m. with a ritual offering to Pachamama, the Earth Mother. In a departure from Incan tradition, no animals will be sacrificed.
Inti Raymi Fiesta del Sol
Saturday, June 20,
Henry Hudson Waterfront Park
11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Columbia County Council of the Arts
The Gardens of the Berkshires, a collaboration of eight public gardens, will offer a day of special programs, activities and offers on Sunday, June 21.
Naumkeag is holding a family event, “Celebrating the Summer Solstice: Fairies in the Garden,” which includes music by a harpist, games, a garden hunt for kids, and a performance by the Albany Berkshire Ballet Junior Company of a piece from Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA; 413.298.3239, ext. 3000
4 - 6 p.m,
performance @ 5 p.m.
Berkshire Botanical Garden will have extended hours until 7:30 p.m. plus a Gift Shop sale and a tasting of Herb Associates’ products, in addition to the usual stroll of the gardens, with its special exhibits.
Routes 102 & 183, Stockbridge, MA. 413-298-3926
The house and gardens at Chesterwood, the 1920s home of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, will be open as usual, and at 2 p.m., there will be a book signing by Virginia Small, author of Great Gardens of the Berkshires.
4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA; 413.298.3579
To celebrate the start of summer Hancock Shaker Village will offer a special sale on gardening books and equipment in the Village Store.
1843 West Housatonic Street (Routes 20 and 41), Pittsfield, MA; 413.443.0188 or 800.817.1137
The board of Hebert Arboretum at Springside Park will offer refreshments in a celebration of summer and to encourages one and all to discover the arboretum there, starting at 10 a.m.
874 North Street, Pittsfield MA; 413.743.5193
Sundog Solar and Solaqua president Jody Rael, with his Gem electric vehicle and its solar-powered sound system add-on.
SunDog Solar, a renewable energy company in Chatham, invites friends, families and neighbors to celebrate the summer solstice by learning about renewable energy from a range of exhibitors.
Attendees at The Summer Solstice Energy Fair are encouraged to bring picnic lunches, hang out, meet artisans, community organizers, and service providers, all of whom are devoted to sustainable, green, and artistic living. Among the exhibits: an innovative “Tower of Power”, the GEM Car (above), a solar fountain, and solar ovens. Live music by, among others, John Farrell, a singer-songwriter who lives in Hillsdale will add to the festivity.
Route 66, just north of the village
Saturday, June 20
Noon - 4 p.m.
Admission is free; attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Regional Food Bank.
Meanwhile, in Great Barrington, the Annual Summer Solstice Celebration looks promising with Berkshire Coop’s East Mountain Café supplying the food, Tom’s Toys in charge of the games and crafts, David Grover and the Big Bear Band performing, and local vendors creating an outdoor Marketplace.
Bridge Street, Great Barrington
Saturday, June 10, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.