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Aug. 12, 2020 | Wednesday
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Summer solstice ceremony needs a drummer
Summer solstice celebration at Ryerson Park will start with a yoga session followed by drumming. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

Say hello to summer, finally, and kick off the season with yoga and drumming this Friday.

The sixth annual summer solstice celebration returns to Ryerson Park on June 21.

The Drumming Down the Sun celebration will start at 7 p.m. with a yoga session, led by John Pizzolato of Fox Den Yoga.

The drumming ceremony will follow – but organizers need a drummer. The drummer who has led the celebrations for the past three or four years is unable to attend the event as his band has a Friday gig, said Loretta Pietrobon, one of the organizers of the solstice event.

“So, we’re looking for someone who might step up and take his place for the evening,” said Pietrobon. “Wouldn’t have to be somebody professional, just somebody who’s got that passion to do it.”

Last year, close to 100 people attended the ceremony, which is open to people of all ages. Since there is no shelter at the park, the event will be cancelled if it rains, she said.

The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and brings with it the longest day of the year. People around the world have different traditions and festivities – with picnics, bonfires, feasts and dancing – when it comes to celebrating the start of summer.

“It’s a tradition that dates back thousands of years ago,” said Pietrobon. “So, it’s nice in our modern, rush-rush, fast-paced world to just take a moment and appreciate (it).”

By the time the the sun is sinking below the horizon, “you can feel everyone’s on the same beat, on the same page,” Pietrobon told The Lake Report. “They’ve all come for the same reason. They just appreciate that they’re able to take part in the group recognizing and being part of the celebration.”

Donations will be accepted for the Niagara Land Trust Foundation, which strives to conserve the natural heritage of Niagara Peninsula.

Prospective drummers should contact Pietrobon at