Summer solstice

Local eco enthusiast Rubyann Gaglio is throwing her third annual Summer Solstice fundraiser to benefit Keystone Heritage Park on Tuesday, June 20. The event will also benefit non-profit dog adoption group Mutt Love.

Gaglio said this event is seminal to continuing the tireless efforts of the late ecologist and biologist Kevin Von Finger, without whose contributions the 52-acre park and wetlands may not exist.

“Kevin was instrumental in maintaining the park,” she said. “He put his heart and soul into it and did a lot to save it from being developed.”

She emphasized the importance of preserving the more than 4,000-year-old archeological site as not only maintaining part of our area’s heritage, but also as a reprieve within our bustling concrete jungle.

The Solstice party is one of a number of ways Gaglio works to benefit the park. In the past, she’s thrown equinox celebrations and she and husband Mike own High Desert Native Plants, which shares a parking lot with Keystone.

“A way the community can help support the park and gardens is to buy plants from us, and we turn around and plant them in the gardens,” she said.

To honor and recognize the longest day of the year, yoga instructors will be on hand at the party to lead participants in traditional yogic sun salutations. Danzas Aztecas will perform an opening prayer ceremony while the group that holds West African drum and dance classes at Onawa will also be at the event. There will also be a tai chi demonstration by Sito Negron.

Joe, Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café will be on-hand serving some of their culinary delights, along with other food and craft vendors.

Other entertainment includes local ’90s rock cover band Main Street and a belly dance performance led by instructor Darlina Marie. There will be a fashion show organized by boutique Pret A Porter.

“This event relies heavily on audience participation,” Gaglio said. “We want people to just let go. No one’s judging them.”

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