On the longest night of the year, when all is dark, celebrations of light and thanksgiving erupt through cultures across the globe. Scientifically known as the winter solstice, as the Earth’s northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, this night, though dark and cold, is filled with warmth and cheer as we celebrate our annual Festival of Lights event.
Now, more than seven years running, our Festival of Lights tradition has increasingly grown in popularity. To accommodate the rising number of ticket sales, this year we expanded the event to include two nights. Totaling 322 in all, our guests were comprised of families, local business folks, Conservancy members, new faces and familiar friends. A fabulous time was had by all.
Following luminary-lined paths through the forests on the EEC campus, guests visited eight different stations; each one highlighting a different global solstice celebration. Each stop provided guests with information about the tradition, a game or craft, and a taste of a traditional dessert from that part of the world. Guests had a blast gambling with toga clad interns at Saturnalia, writing wishes on Loy Krathong’s floating wreaths, tasting dumplings at Dong Zhi, and enjoying the warmth of the bon fire at Yule Log. Other represented traditions included Christmas Tree, Chanukah, Kwanza, and Yalda.
Admission also included a beautiful pork dinner prepared by our Conservancy catering staff. Since the dining halls were decorated with greenery, bows, lights, and cranberry centerpieces, you almost forgot you were eating at a camp. Guests raved about the delicious food, saying it may have been the highlight of their night.
A huge thank you goes out to all of our volunteers and Conservancy staff that helped make this event possible. To those who attended the event, we truly appreciate your support and hope to see you again next year!