After a several-year hiatus, the annual observance of the summer solstice is coming back to Penticton. (Photo- Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Okanagan Centre)

After a several-year hiatus, the annual observance of the summer solstice is coming back to Penticton. (Photo- Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Okanagan Centre)

Annual observance of summer solstice coming to Penticton’s Munson Mountain

Community invited to gather and watch the solstice with astronomer Chris Purton

An annual summertime tradition is coming back to Penticton.

Thanks to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Okanagan Centre, a community-wide gathering to observe the summer solstice is returning to Munson Mountain on Monday night, June 20.

After a multi-year hiatus, the group is hosting its annual event and is even bringing along some friends to help mark the occasion.

Astronomer Chris Purton will be among those in attendance to explain the apparent movement of the sun from north to south and back again.

The gathering will begin at 8 p.m., with the sunset occurring at 8:50 p.m. The sun will make first contact with the opposing mountain at 8:46 pm., according to Sally Kilburg from the RASCOC.

“If we are lucky and the sun is shining, attendees will see the shadow of the Summer Solstice Standing Stone extend to the Heel Stone at the peak of Munson Mountain,” she said.

Munson Mountain — known for being home to the famous Penticton Sign — has previously been a host of several solstice gatherings.

“Summer solstice this year occurs at 2:14 am on Tuesday, June 21, so attendees on Monday evening will observe the sunset nearest to the actual moment of Summer solstice.”

The last time the group gathered for such an event was for the Winter solstice in 2019.

Kilburg added that this year’s event is not only a celebration of summer but one of everyone being back together.

“We got around 65 to 70 people at our last gathering and we’re already getting inquiries about Monday night, so it’s very exciting,” she said.

People are encouraged to arrive early, as parking at the lot on the top of the mountain is limited.

The event is free to attend and open to people of all ages.

READ MORE: Here’s what’s happening this weekend in the South Okanagan


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