HANNA CITY, Ill. (WMBD) — The weather already feels like summer, but the sun will shine for longer than any other day of the year Tuesday, known as the summer solstice.

This natural phenomenon is a chance for communities throughout history to celebrate the beginning of summer.

This year, celebrations will be held at Wildlife Prairie Park for a full 24-hour event. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. Monday and ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The event is hosted by SoulSide Healing Arts, a Peoria-based yoga and wellness organization.

“A handful of teachers and facilitators who work with SoulSide dreamed up this idea for a celebration of the summer solstice,” said Executive Director Hannah Ramlo. “It’s just our little piece of what has been celebrated in so many different traditions and throughout history. This natural event, and gathering together to welcome summer.” 

Ramlo said it is a moment when the day and night are equal.

“For us in the yoga world, it’s just an opportunity to celebrate the balancing of our night and day, dark and light, the longest day of our year in the Northern Hemisphere. [We are] welcoming the sun and all that comes with that kind of heat and energy and summer,” Ramlo continued.

What is the summer solstice?

WMBD’s Meteorologist Adam Sherwinski said the summer solstice is literally the “shortest night, longest day.”

“It is the longest amount of daylight hours in a 24-hour period,” Sherwinski said.

At exactly 4:14 a.m. on June 21, according to Sherwinski, the Northern Hemisphere of the earth will be facing the sun more directly than at any point in the year. That is why that specific time marks the beginning of the longest day of the year, or the summer solstice.

Daylight will not begin until the 5:45 a.m. sunrise, Sherwinski said.

What can the community expect at Wildlife Prairie Park?

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 5-7 p.m. — Set up camp, bring dinner or money for Touch of Grey food truck on site
  • 7-9 p.m. — Fireside ceremony + drum & chime circle led by Peoria Drum Circle (instruments will be provided or feel free to bring your own)
  • 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. — Deep relaxation to layered vibrations provided by sound facilitators
  • 4:30-6:30 a.m. — Early morning Sadhana led by Devpreet
  • 6-7:30 a.m. — 108 Sun Salutations led by Aaron Dickerson
  • 7:30-10 a.m. — Real Smooth Foods (included in ticket), Free time, Vision quest: meet a tree
  • 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. — Workshop led by Janie Backs
  • 11:30-1:30 p.m. — Radish Kitchen (included in ticket), Free time, Water activities
  • 1:30-3 p.m. — Workshop led by Hannah Ramlo
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Integration Ceremony
  • 4:30-5 p.m. — Departure

Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

SoulSide uses a pay-what-you-can business model in alignment with the organization’s mission.

“SoulSide is a nonprofit, so anything that we make from this event… goes to bringing yoga and mindfulness back into the community and to social service agencies and schools,” Ramlo said.