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The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “The day may be long, but the events don’t stop”

    Fun, food and flames will take over the Arizona State Museum on Saturday during the annual summer solstice celebration.

    “”Marking the Summer Solstice,”” in its seventh incarnation, will celebrate the longest day of the calendar year and showcase dozens of activities and performers.

    “”We have really made it a multicultural event,”” said coordinator Lisa Falk. “”It began as a Mexican and Native American celebration, but we now have Mexican, Irish, Apache, Cuban, Japanese and many more cultures represented.””

    Performers include the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, an Apache dance group from Phoenix, and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio, an award-winning Mexican dance group from Tucson.

    This year, the affair will conclude with Flam Chen, Tucson’s premier pyrotechnic theater group, Falk said.

    “”They are phenomenal,”” Falk said. “”They do stunts with fire, dances with fire and other performances with fire.””

    Their program, entitled “”Radiance,”” is in collaboration with the Dambe Drum Ensemble and will serve as a fiery finale to the night of festivities.

    The Dambe Drum Ensemble is a veteran of the solstice celebration. It is a Tucson-based group that specializes in traditional music, dance and song from West Africa and Mali.

    Martin Klabunde, the group’s director, approached Flam Chen about collaborating and “”it came together quickly,”” he said.

    “”Flam Chen has been in Tucson for a long time, and I have always liked what they did,”” Klabunde said. “”We liked the idea of mixing live percussion with fire-spinning.””

    The festivities will also offer an environment-friendly twist with a “”Green Zone”” that will teach visitors about the importance of solar energy, Falk said.

    In addition, the food vendors will be powered by banked solar energy. Tucson Water will be presenting water conservation techniques, and Tucson Electric Power will also be out to show fun ways to conserve energy.

    The events begin at 4:30 p.m. in front of the Arizona State Museum and conclude around 9:30. Admission is free. Student volunteers are still needed. If interested, contact Falk at 626-2973.

    A full schedule of events can be found at

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