The 2011 Summer Solstice Celebration is inviting children to roll up their sleeves and get creative.

Youngsters at this year’s Children’s Festival, part of the June 24 to 26 Solstice Celebration at large, will be able to participate in creative activities lead by a team of South Coast dance, music, theater and art groups. Children’s Festival hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26 in Santa Barbara’s Alameda Park.

Free music lessons will be offered. The Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy will put instruments in children’s hands. A variety of instruments will be available for children to play. Teachers will be on site providing basic instruction.

Children are invited to add their creativity to a community mural being painted throughout the weekend. They will have the opportunity to design and create their very own Solstice mask. Several other live art projects will be offered throughout the weekend.

The Santa Barbara School of Rock will feature advanced youth bands Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Many other kid-friendly activities including storytellers, dance troupes and music acts will be available all weekend at the Summer Solstice Celebration’s Children’s Festival.

This is the first time in the Solstice Celebration’s 37-year history that it will extend over three days.

With the theme of “Jungle,” the Solstice Celebration opens at June 24 in Alameda Park, with theatrical and musical entertainment until 9 p.m. The Solstice Parade begins at noon June 25 at State and Cota streets and concludes at Alameda Park with entertainment until 8 p.m.

On June 26, live entertainment will be featured from 1:30 to 6 p.m. on the main stage featuring soft jazz music as well as entertainment on the children’s stage from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Arts and crafts booths, food booths, and beer and wine garden will be open for all three days of the festival.

The Solstice Celebration has grown into Santa Barbara’s largest arts event, drawing more than 100,000 spectators from around the world, with more than 1,000 parade participants. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization, Solstice Celebration has become a year-round organization, bringing the community together through the arts.


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