March 2019 update: The photos associated with this post are now part of my Tucson Event Photography website. They are linked in the text.
Saturday was the longest day of the year. So, how did we Tucsonans celebrate the Summer Solstice? With an outdoor festival, of course!
The triple-digit temperatures didn’t stop thousands of people from trekking over to the University of Arizona campus for Arizona State Museum’s Marking the Summer Solstice event. There were hands-on demos of everything from creating fire from friction to making clay vessels.
The solar-powered performance stage featured acts representing cultures from around the world. For example, there was the dancing Caribbean stiltwalker.
After sunset, an all-women trio called Fushicho Daiko took to the stage. Taiko is the art of Japanese drumming, and it’s loud. You won’t just hear it, you’ll feel it.
The grand finale featured the Seven Pipers Scottish Society jamming with the Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Theater Company. Yes, you read that right: a group of bagpipers that can swing. I never thought I’d hear it myself, and believe me, I’ve heard more than a little piping in my time. (That’s what happens when both parents are of Scottish descent.)
The pipers played music while the Flam Chen troupe artfully played with fire. And did I mention that Flam Chen did their entire performance on stilts?