Cristal's Blog


June 17, 2024

Back to Articles

As it has for the past 49 years, our seaside community eagerly prepares to honor the longest day of the year with a kaleidoscope of color, music, and cultural revelry during the annual Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration. From the enchanting rhythms of drum circles echoing through palm-lined streets to the mesmerizing display of intricately crafted floats adorned with flowers and feathers, the 50th Anniversary of the Summer Solstice Celebration promises to ignite the senses and awaken the spirit of summer in all who gather to partake in its jubilant festivities.

Musician Kenny Loggins with his guitar, smiling big while leading the annual Summer Solstice Parade down a Santa Barbara.street.
Image courtesy of Scott London

Summer Solstice 2024

Shakespeare called it midsummer, but Santa Barbarians know the longest day of the year as the summer solstice, and, as usual, the town will be celebrating in style. The 2024 Summer Solstice Celebration unfolds across June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd within the heart of Santa Barbara; nestled in Alameda Park, bordered by Anacapa and Garden Streets, and between Sola and Micheltorena Streets.

As parade enthusiasts line the streets, they'll be treated to a fresh perspective of Santa Barbara, with the majestic mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop to the festivities. Along this scenic route, iconic landmarks steeped in the rich tapestry of our community's history stand proudly, including the stately Santa Barbara Courthouse, the captivating SB Historical Museum, and the venerable Presidio.

A beautiful dance troupe of women marching down the street in purple can-can-style costumes.
Image courtesy of Scott London

Nestled amidst these historic treasures, the parade route offers more than just a spectacle; it's a journey through time, a chance to connect with our roots, and an invitation to revel in the boundless creativity of our community. Against this picturesque backdrop, we unite to renew our spirits, forge bonds of camaraderie, and embark on “Flights of Fancy” guided by this year's whimsical theme.

Immerse yourself in the festivities from previous years on the nonprofit’s official YouTube channel. Journey through the colorful displays, spirited performances, and community camaraderie that defined this unforgettable event as you prepare for the fun in 2024.

A beautiful woman in a pink feathered headdress with lots of rhinestones as she dances in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade.
Image courtesy of Scott London

How Did The Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration Begin?

What is now the largest arts event in Santa Barbara started as a small birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. It has evolved into one of the nation's best and largest solstice celebrations. The actual parade has transformed into a creative and original display of floats, giant puppets, whimsical costumes, and masks of more than 1,000 parade participants. There is dancing, music, drumming, and performances, all designed to enthrall more than 100,000 spectators from around the world.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization, the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration group is responsible for carrying on what began as Michael’s delightful, multicultural performing arts romp; ensuring an extravagant celebration of life through art for many years to come.

Everyone is invited to enjoy a wonderfully eclectic collection of live world music, including famous local groups, food, arts and crafts for 3 full days.

A crazy, colorful giant costume swirling around a man, with an equally colorful ballon float behind him in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade.
Image courtesy of Scott London

What is the Summer Solstice?

In the Northern Hemisphere, such as here in Santa Barbara, the June solstice, also known as the summer solstice, heralds the onset of summer as the sun ascends to its highest and northernmost points in the sky. Conversely, in the Southern Hemisphere, this juncture marks the onset of winter as the sun dips to its lowest point in the sky. The term "solstice" originates from the Latin solstitium, derived from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the perceived pause in the sun's movement as it reaches its extreme points. Following the solstice, the sun reverses its trajectory, signaling the start of its journey back in the opposite direction.

Unlike fixed calendar dates, the timing of the June solstice hinges on when the sun attains its northernmost position relative to the equator, thus varying between June 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Here in Santa Barbara, the Summer Solstice holds significance as the day boasting the lengthiest period of sunlight, accentuated by the sun's lofty position in the sky. This elevated angle ensures more direct solar radiation, fostering the efficient warmth characteristic of summer. A notable phenomenon of this day is the shortest noon-time shadow cast, attributable to the sun's zenith position, offering a tangible manifestation of the solstice's celestial dance.

If you are looking for a new home where you can celebrate the Santa Barbara summer solstice for many years to come in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or another of the Santa Barbara area’s upscale communities, just give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at I'll be delighted to include your property in my collection of remarkable estates for sale while assisting you in finding the perfect new residence. With summer upon us, now is an opportune moment to embark on this exciting journey. In the meantime, let's revel in the joyous 50th festivities of the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration!

Of Related Interest:

Back to Articles

Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch