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The longest day of the year is (almost) here: Summer solstice occurs when the sun is over the Tropic of Cancer which, this year, will happen at 3:07 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, June 21. Whether you prefer pagan-style parties or embracing the elements of nature through outdoor yoga, celebrate the arrival of the long, warm days of summer and the natural beauty of Northern California with these five summer solstice events in Sonoma and Napa counties. Click through the gallery for all the details.
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June 21, Summer Solstice Sunrise Walk, Laguna de Santa Rosa: Get in touch with the earth and the "dawn biophony" (the sounds of nature waking up) with a guided, sunrise walk through Laguna de Santa Rosa. The two-mile easy walk will take hikers to the pond at the park and back. Free, reservations required, 4:20 am at the trailhead just before the Chevron gas station, at the Highway 12 entrance, sunrisewalkers.com
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June 21, Summer Solstice Sound Healing Ceremony, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary: Acknowledge the generosity of our Earth Mother in a Zen setting at the Osmosis Temple Gardens in Freestone. At 8 a.m., a special team of healers and musicians will lead a "sound healing journey of conscious and sacred engagement with self, spirit and the earth in a way that is inspiring and deeply nourishing." The summer solstice celebration also rekindles "the spirit upon which we have built, and continue to empower our unique culture and community." Following the event, guests can enjoy Osmosis' signature Cedar Enzyme Foot Bath for $15 (limited tickets available). Entry fee of $10 can be applied to any same day service, 8am-9am, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, 209 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, osmosis.com.
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June 21, Summer Solstice Party, Spring Lake Regional Park: Sonoma County Regional Parks and the Children's Museum will celebrate summer solstice with a family friendly party at Spring Lake Regional Park. Hikes will showcase the many animals living in the park and sun-inspired crafts will be offered to add even more brightness to the day. $7 parking or free with membership, for more information, call 707-539-2865, 12pm-5pm, 393 Violetti Road Santa Rosa, parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov
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June 21, Summer Solstice Yoga, Robert Mondavi Winery: Celebrate summer with a yoga session set among the famous To Kalon vineyard at Robert Mondavi Winery. As the sun begins to set behind the Mayacamas mountains, instructor Tim Gaskell will lead attendees through a 75-minute practice focusing on the start of summer. After the session, which is suitable for all levels, enjoy a glass of wine and healthy treats. $35, 5:30 pm, 7801 St. Helena Hwy, Oakville, robertmondaviwinery.com
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June 22, Summer Solstice Wellness Faire, Sebastopol Community Market: This free faire, set on the grassy area at The Barlow, will feature live music by Bear Bones Band, Marshall House Project, a DJ set by Jake Levant and belly dance by Joweh. There will be yoga for all levels, local natural food vendors, wellness practitioners, crafts for kids, and face painting. Free, 4pm - 9pm, Sebastopol Community Market, 6762 Sebastopol Ave #100
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And this is how Swedes celebrate Midsummer (summer solstice), a holiday devoted to eating (lots of herring), drinking (lots of Absolute Vodka or schnapps), and pagan rituals (dancing "the little frog dance" around a may pole).