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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Solstice Activities Around Utah

We wish you all a happy apocalypse. There will be parties and special events in some locations around Utah to mark the end of the Mayan calendar. Check locally to see what is happening in areas you will be visiting.

And there will be Winter Solstice activities at many of our state and national parks, and in other locations around the state.

Bryce Canyon has this on the schedule:
NOT THE END OF THE WORLD STAR PARTY!
Friday, December 21st, 2012 7:00 PM - Midnight
Location: The Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

Join the Dark Rangers of Bryce Canyon for a special Winter Solstice Astronomy Event at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. Enjoy educational and entertaining "End of the World" themed presentations punctuated by stargazing with telescopes.


One of the most unusual activities will be held in the town of Bluff, near Monument Valley:
Utah town burns 16-foot mammoth effigy for solstice

"What's really gonna be fun is they're gonna set it on fire with primitive Native American technology, meaning they're either going to use bows and arrows or they're going to use atlatl spears," Gulliford said. "It'll be fun to see if they can even hit the thing with a flaming atlatl dart."
The mammoth is meant to represent the discovery of mammoth petroglyphs near Bluff, a town of a few hundred people located on the San Juan River. Rock expert and local artist Joe Pachak first discovered the petroglyphs in 1987, but they have been a source of controversy ever since.


Edge of the Cedars State Park will host a "Return of the Sun" celebration on Saturday:

Celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year, on Saturday the 22nd with two events at the Edge of the Cedars Museum:

1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Families will enjoy Navajo Star stories in the Starlab - a portable planetarium.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Weather Permitting) Gather at the Solar Marker Sculpture with Artist Joe Pachak to observe the play of light and shadow as the sun sets just before sundown. The Solar Marker is a modern re-creation and living laboratory for the study of archaeoastronomy. It represents numerous rock art sites where ancient people marked the movement of the stars and changing seasons.

Following the sundown program at the Solstice Marker sculpture, join us in the auditorium for a talk by the artist, Joe Pachak of Bluff, Utah. He will discuss "Solstice Markers and the Landscape" looking not just at the markers themselves but their place in the landscape and use of horizons and other features in creating archaeoastronomy sites. Refreshments will be srerved. Free to the public.

Please call Edge of the Cedars at: (435)678-2238 for more information.

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