bluffs. Sure, there will be wind and possibly fog, but for a Dane
this is nostalgic — and besides, any excuse to celebrate will not
be thwarted by a matter as trivial as the weather. The simple
solution is plenty of blankets, fleece and libations — the location and whatever weather it brings are readily accepted. But
for this group of returning revelers, the weather somehow,
magically, always works out in their favor. Rumor has it that in
each solstice celebration, by the time the sun descends over the
Pacific, the skies grow clear and the wind calms to a whisper.
Perhaps it’s coincidence or divine intervention — or simply a
distorted perception influenced by aquavit?
Solstice is a party for all, so pack a picnic, rally your friends
and head to the beach. While there is no precise way to cel-
ebrate at a solstice beach party, a good rule of thumb is the
more the merrier, and potluck is the way to go. Let the hosts
take charge of the grilled foods and sundries, and ask everyone
else to complete the menu with an appetizer, salad or dessert
and to contribute a bottle for sharing. Time the festivities for
the end of the afternoon to enjoy a few hours of sunshine before
the sunset. Claim a spot on the beach, keeping in mind the flow
of the tide and the direction of the wind. Bring portable grills
and tables, a Weber kettle if you have it, and plenty of charcoal
and wood for stoking the bonfire. And don’t forget long sticks
for roasting s’mores and snobrød — skewered hot dogs wrapped
in bread dough, a Danish campfire favorite.
The effigy burning is an optional but highly recom-
mended special effect: Enlist artistic types, closet wiccans
or spirited teenagers to help in advance and transport the
creation, ready to burn, to the beach. Just be aware that a
10-foot witch strapped to a car roof might prove distracting
to drivers along the winding route. When the sun begins to
set and the sky grows dusky, it will be time to stoke the fire
and burn the effigy, which is guaranteed to attract the atten-
tion of the entire beach.
Once the fire dies down and darkness blankets the beach,
it will be nearly 9 p.m., woefully early by midnight sun stan-
dards but perfectly in sync with Marin beach-closing hours.
The park rangers are remarkably tolerant of burning witches,
but much less flexible about closing-up time. With a little
teamwork the party will be packed and cleaned up, cars and
trucks loaded, and another midsummer passed. Well, almost.
Since there are technically a few hours remaining of the sol-
stice eve, a few Vikings might head to the Pelican Inn for a
quick nightcap. After all, they serve mead. M