2017-12-21 / Columns

Join the Winter Solstice Party

Phone/fax 386-5686

The holiday weekend kicks off with a fun new event — a Winter Solstice Party at the Village Arts Building in Northport tonight (Thursday, Dec. 21) from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. The evening includes music by The Hot Biscuits. Tickets are $15 at the door, or $10 in advance at Pennington. It should be a great time.

This year, the Winter Solstice occurs Dec. 21 at exactly 11:28 a.m. EST. Many people think of the whole day as the Winter, or December, Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment — when the sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. The December solstice can occur on any day from Dec. 20 – 23. However, Dec. 21 and 22 solstices happen much more frequently than December 20 and 23 solstices. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not be repeated until 2303. A Dec. 20 solstice has occurred very rarely, with the next one in the year 2080.

The varying dates are mainly due to our calendar system. The tropical year, which is the length of time the sun takes to return to the same position in the seasons cycle as seen from Earth, is different from the calendar year.

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Santa Claus is coming to town! He will be here on Christmas Eve, arriving at the Omena Community Room in the fire hall, with goodies for all. The doors open at 2 p.m., and the caroling begins at 2:30 p.m., with Santa expected to arrive at 3 p.m. There’s lots of fun for everyone.

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Winter weather doesn’t slow activities in and around Omena. On Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 11 a.m., an all-Omena docent team will lead a Leelanau Conservancy hike or snowshoe tour at the Kehl Lake Natural Area. Join docents Marsha Buehler, Mary Smart and Jack Dunn for a winter walk through the woods near the lake. If the snow is deep, bring your snowshoes.

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For inside activities, try Team Trivia with friends. On Mondays, you can play at Knot Just a Bar in Omena at 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays at Village Inn in Suttons Bay at 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays at Tuckers in Northport at 6:30 p.m.; Thursdays at the Leland Lodge in Leland at 7 p.m.; and Saturdays at the Bluebird in Leland at 7:30 p.m.

What’s fun is that you either know an answer or you learn something. It seems like I learn a lot. For instance, “In what sporting event was Oliver Lewis the first African-American to win?”

It was the Kentucky Derby. He was not only he first African-American, he won the very first Derby in 1875.

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It was a fun surprise to hear Suttons Bay resident Larry Mawby’s name on the NPR radio show, “Way With Words,” this past week. When his winery uses “MT” on its barrels to mean empty, it is called a grammagram, or gramogram. Several months ago Greg McMorrow of Omena called in with a question. For our little area to have two callers on a national show has to be a pretty high representation. We could edge out Lake Wobegon as the place where everyone’s above average.

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Happy Birthday to Bert Wheeler, Pat Kimmerly, Tish Renz, Fred Putnam, who was born on Christmas Eve, and Evie Brooke Sulau, who turns 3.

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I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.

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