Summer Solstice event this Saturday at Parowan Gap


PAROWAN–A new documentary on Parowan Gap will be shown as part of the annual Summer Solstice event where people can experience the solar calendaring system as depicted through petroglyphs at Parowan Gap, Saturday, June 23. Other activities include an interpretive program, solstice sunset observation and BBQ dinner.

The Parowan Gap, a natural mountain pass, features hundreds of petroglyphs etched upon its rock faces from past Native American cultures, as well as naturally formed rock outcroppings that are aligned with the movement of the earth that cast shadows at different times of the year.  “The largest petroglyph, the Zipper Glyph, can be interpreted as a map of travel or as a solar calendar,” said Nancy Dalton, Event Organizer with the Parowan Heritage Foundation, which hosts this annual event.

Media videographer/producer Alan Neves will premier his master thesis documentary on the Parowan Gap. This was a three-year filming project of video interviews with Native American tribal leaders who tell why the Gap plays an important role in their culture, as well as interviews with archaeologists, solar engineers, and local historians who explain the scientific and cultural significance. A number of those interviewed will be in attendance and will answer questions from the audience after the showing of the documentary.

The Parowan Gap Documentary will be shown at 3 p.m. at the Parowan City Office in the Council Chamber.  The event is free.  The Parowan City office is located at 35 E. 100 North in Parowan.

A BBQ Dinner catered by Hamburger Patty’s will be held from 6:30-7 p.m. at Parowan Gap.  Tickets for the dinner are $15 per person.  Tickets can be purchased from Parowan City Library, Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Visitor Center, or online at Eventbrite at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/parowan-gap-summer-solstice-dinner-tickets-47062528289

The main event of the day is the Summer Solstice program at 7:30 p.m. at Parowan Gap.  Solar engineer Nal Morris will be speaking at this event.  At 8:30 p.m. the group will walk three-quarters of a mile along the paved road to the back-up Summer Solstice carins to watch the sun set down the center of the Gap as depicted on the “Zipper Glyph”.

“Ancient Native Americans who set up the Gap solar calendar system, did not just set up one carin for each season, but they set up back-up carins for each carin,” said Dalton, who added, “that these ancient people knew that there would be times when the front carins could not be used.”

Due to wildlife inhabiting the normal parking area, vehicle parking will be located on the west side (Cedar City side) of the Gap.  The improved parking area will be for handicapped parking and dropping off those who are not able to walk short distances.

The program is free.  Those attending are asked to bring their own chairs, drinking water, and wear good walking shoes.

Tickets for BBQ dinner can be purchased at the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Office at 581 North Main in Cedar City; or Parowan City Library at 16 South Main in Parowan; or by contacting Dalton at 435-463-3735.  Parowan Gap is located 19.2 miles northwest of Cedar City on Hwy. 130; or 14 miles west of Parowan following the Gap County Road from 400 North in Parowan.  The annual event is sponsored by the Parowan Heritage Foundation and Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau.

 

CAPTION: The Summer Solstice Sun setting down the middle of the Parowan Gap.  Photo courtesy of Nancy Dalton, Parowan Heritage Foundation

 

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