A group of about 80 gathered under overcast skies Friday evening to celebrate the summer solstice, otherwise known as the first day of summer.
The event was organized by Sophia's Portico, an art and spirituality center located at 2330 Beacon St. Participants chanted and drummed in prayer, thanking the spirits for the gifts and the earth in the summer season and year-round.
The center, which began in 1992, originally was located on the premises of the current Imagine Master Academy. It was there that seasonal earth celebrations would take place. Though after ownership changes, Sophia's Portico moved a number of years ago to its current location, and earth celebrations moved to various locations, including the children's garden at IPFW.
This year, due to scheduling conflicts with IPFW's Riverfest, Sophia's Portico was out of a venue – that is, until organizers were able to secure their former home on the north side of town.
"It's a homecoming for us because so many memories were created here, and many of our rituals were created here," Laurie Rainey Schmidt, member of the ritual committee, said. "It's like we've come full circle."