Earth Day, Summer Solstice Events to Go ‘Virtual’ Online

While many Santa Barbara-area business, nonprofit and social events have been canceled or postponed, some are using technology to go online and have “virtual events” anyway. 

 For example, the 50th annual Earth Day is staging a virtual event at noon April 22 at with musicians and speakers. 

Meanwhile, Robin Elander, executive director of Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Celebration said, “To protect the health of our community due to the current public health emergency, the (event) has decided to go virtual with our annual Solstice community workshop and three-day festival at Alameda Park. While we are certainly heartbroken to make this announcement, we feel it is in the best interest and welfare of our community.” 

She said her organization is planning free and donation-based online classes and gatherings in May and June.  

“We invite the community to apply to join us in hosting these online offerings,” Elander said. “Artists, performers, costumers, musicians, storytellers, dancers and creative makers, we invite you to share your creative Solstice spirit with our community.” 

 The schedule of activities is set to be announced the first week of May, Elander said. 

 “Our team is exploring alternative dates to host a parade later this year, in lieu of our Summer Solstice Parade previously scheduled for June 20, should conditions allow,” said Summer Solstice board member, Stacie Bouffard. “We will keep you posted.”  

The Summer Solstice Celebration announced a partnership with the UCSB Museum of Art, Architecture and Design for an online “parade of history” to showcase a sampling of the organization’s 45-year history started by Michael Gonzalez in 1976. 

For more information on Summer Solstice Celebration’s modified plans, email [email protected] or visit

In addition, the annual Memorial Day weekend event I Madonnari chalk painting festival, held for 33 years at the Santa Barbara Mission, has been canceled. Organizers say they have no plans to go virtual.

The event was a fundraiser for the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Posted April 16, 2020.

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