The Sun Stopping Event
A solstice happens when the sun’s zenith is at its furthest point from the equator. On the June solstice it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.5 degrees. It’s also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west, meaning it’s visible in the sky for a longer period of time. ‘Solstice’ (Latin: ‘solstitium’) means ‘sun-stopping’. We thought there was no better way to celebrate the longest day of the year than with a celebration nothing short of ‘sun-stopping.’
We owe everything we love about Napa Valley—the wine, the warmth, the glow—to the sun. There is simply nothing better than sitting poolside at one of Solage’s salt water pools and feeling the warmth of the sun spread all through your body, to the tip of every toe. In honor of the thing that brings all the life and happiness to the world, the Solage Calistoga Summer Solstice Celebration began.
Nothing celebrates the onset of summer like a menu of succulent dishes all prepared over open flame. The celebration started off with smiles as young and old bit into the menu selected for the evening—twists on Solbar favorites, all roasted over open flame. From the Mexican street corn, avocado toast with summer squash salsa cruda, and flatiron steak with chimichurrri, there was not one disappointed soul with their mouth full. For those with a more daring palette, the three-bean salad with marjoram, tomato and grilled halloumi did not disappoint. But of all the temptingly tasty dishes that night, the peach and vanilla sugar empanadas were a crowd favorite. After the first sweet, delectable bite everyone found themselves licking vanilla sugar off their fingers, wishing for more.
Once smiles were shared and bellies were filled, it was time to walk along the tikki torches sipping on sangria until the drumming and the fire dancing began. Just as with every Solage signature drink, the drinks were carefully mixed with only the best ingredients for a truly refreshing libation. From the peach sangria, cerveza imperial de costa rica and the singapore slings or planter’s punch, there was something tantalizingly refreshing to sip on until the darkness was interrupted by swirls of fire.
Flaming Main Event
Fire is a very powerful element. The sun is the most fiery and thus powerful place in our solar system. What better way to celebrate the life and warmth the sun brings us than with a fire dance tribute. Fire in its physical form can do for you what the sun itself does for our planet. The time fire was discovered, it changed human life forever. Just think about the times you sat facing a bonfire or fireplace. There’s something enchanting about the way the blaze sizzle and pop. Then suddenly, you started staring. Fire is utterly hypnotic, and steals the attention of all who gaze upon it. Fire dancing is a performance art form which combines equipment on fire into a spectacular dance. During the Solage celebration of the longest day of the year, the beat of the drummers set the rhythm for the steps of the fire dancers, putting on a performance that was dazzling to gaze upon and thrilling to be present for.
Just as spectacular as the fire dancing, the live drummers who set the tone for the dancers made the celebration one of a kind. Drumming isn’t just about music and rhythm, style, tempo and fun. Drumming is a way to connect with others on a level that is unmatched in most community-based music events. As the drummers beat upon the drums, they were able to speak to the audience on many levels, and inspire and encourage the movements of the dancers.
After the drumming stopped and the dancers twirled their final fire stick, the celebration began to wind its way down. Even though the sun had set long before, the warm summer night echoed everything we love about that big star in the sky. From the open flame menu, to the dancing and the drums, the Summer Solstice Celebration is not one we soon will forget.