Friday, June 22, 2007

Multicultural celebration in Tucson marks official dawning of summer

[Source: Albert Ching, Daily Star] -- There's no hiding from the summer in Southern Arizona, so why not greet its official start the right way with a solstice party? That's the attitude at the Arizona State Museum, where you'll get that chance with "Marking the Summer Solstice" on Saturday. "The event actually started nine years ago," said Lisa Falk, the museum's education director. "It grew out of a summer cultural program we did in collaboration with the public library. It started very small, and we did it for two years." Falk then came on board, and decided to expand the event to celebrate a diverse range of cultures.

"I'm from the East where there are lots of festivals, and here there didn't seem to be much to do to bring families out of their air-conditioned homes," she said. "It grew from about 200 people that they were getting, and now we get about 1,200 people." The event aims to be a veritable smorgasbord of culture presented by local groups, with performances from Ballet Folklorico Tapatio, Irish music from Halfway Round the House, Japanese drumming from the Tucson Taiko Kyokai, Cuban salsa with Cuban Connection, and Apache hoop performance from the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers. Tucson pyrotechnic theater troupe Flam Chen will perform for the event's "grand finale" with the Dambe Drum Ensemble. The event also boasts educational talks from cultural experts, including Navajo physics and astronomy instructor David Begay and Arizona State Museum head of collections Patrick Lyons. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]