Dancing, drums and laughter filled Olbrich Park last Friday as the Madison community came to enjoy Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY) Neighborhood Association's annual celebration of the summer solstice. “For us, it’s a seasonal recognition of the importance and value of the changing of the seasons,” Brad Hinkfuss, president of SASY Neighborhood Association, said. “In the summer, we’re celebrating the longest day of the year, the fact that we’re here, and the beauty of it all and the harvest that it entails.”
The festivities began with free canoe rides on Starkweather Creek, followed by a bring-your-own-drum drum circle, which slowly drew the dancer out of more and more onlookers.
“It’s not every day that I dance like this,” Arden Eckhart, local musician and artist, said. “In fact, most days I don’t feel like dancing, but it’s good to do things that you don’t normally do for the sake of refreshing your brain and your spirit.”
Nearby, all the while, families set up picnics and children spun gleefully down a nearby sledding hill. Some attendees were inspired to come to celebrate the symbolic nature of the summer solstice.
“I find it spiritually uplifting,” Eckhart said.