At this weekend's 7th Annual Summer Solstice Dulcimer and Traditional Music and Dance Festival at Cal State Northridge, visitors can learn how to make musical instruments out of garden hoses, listen to 86-year-old Percy Danforth playing bones, watch a musical saw contest and join in dozens of workshops.
The diverse program, with more than 27 simultaneous events, is the largest teaching festival in the U.S. Workshops for beginners include playing the fiddle, banjo, bagpipes, pennywhistle and, of course, the dulcimer. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own instruments (a check room is available) but there will also be loaners.
More workshops include cowboy songs, sea songs, children's songs, and bells. Experts from Mexico, Nova Scotia, France and many other countries are coming to teach and perform such specialties as bowing styles from Madeleine Island, Scandinavian piano accordion and Irish dance music.
Children, who can appreciate the delicate instruments, are welcome at the workshops. In addition, there'll be a storytelling area.
Both workshops and concerts will be indoors and outdoors. Visitors may bring picnic lunches or buy food at several campus sites. In addition to musical instruments and picnic baskets, families are encouraged to bring blankets, tape recorders and blank tapes.
The festival is at the Student Union Center on CSUN's campus, near the corner of Zelzah Avenue and Nordhoff Street. Adjacent parking is free. Children ages 4 and under are free. Everyone else is $15. The entire festival is handicap accessible. Call (818) 342-7664.
City Summer Solstice Celebration--Main Street will be closed (from Aliso Street to Temple Street) as the Los Angeles Children's Museum hosts its most ambitious event of the year. This giant outdoor party, on the two longest days of the year, will mix traditional solstice observances (an elaborate opening pageant depicting winter's defeat plus a giant sundial and sun sculpture) with some new children's activities such as face painting.
Visitors can participate in workshops to create body ornaments, masks and musical instruments and then join in the Main Street parade at 3 p.m. each day. Adding to the merriment: Disney characters Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, performances of African dance and Native American dance. All outdoor Solstice activities are free and museum admission is only $1 for the event. The museum is at 310 N. Main St. Call (213) 687-8800. Festival hours are noon to 6 p.m. today and Sunday.