Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Celebration

This Thursday, June 21, is the Summer Solstice (or June Solstice, or Northern Solstice, or whatever you want to call it). The fact is, Thursday is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Since most of us will be toiling at work on that long day, the organizers of the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration wisely decided to schedule their solstice celebration for Saturday, June 23. Sure, the day is a tad bit shorter — but Saturdays just feel more like party-days, don’t they?

Begun in 1974, today the Parade is the largest, single-day arts event in Santa Barbara County, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world. The theme of the Celebration for 2007 is “Stars.”

In addition to a parade — which features 1000+ starry-eyed participants, extravagant star-shaped floats, and whimsical star-inspired costumes — the event sports a festival with lots of star-themed crafts and food (star fruit, anyone?). Want an idea of what the event is like? Check the gallery of images from the past few years.

Sounds like fun: I’ll give it a gold star.

[Thanks, Michelle!]