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photo Macon County Times – 1,200 flock to Poppen’s Summer Solstice by Tilly Dillehay - Editor

For 37 years, Long Hungry Creek Farm has hosted a Summer Solstice celebration with a long musical lineup, camping, and food for three nights and two days. It’s capped off by an all night bonfire on the longest day of the year.

1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice7_1372096699It began in 1976, led by Jeff Poppen, the organic farming cooperative and biodynamic farming expert known around these parts as The Barefoot Farmer. He and a group of friends celebrated the solstice that year with music and a singing circle around a big bonfire.

“It started out as a lot of us that moved here from other places,” said Poppen. “We found each other. And we were probably a little more liberal or progressive than a lot of what was going on at the time, in 70s. [We were] coming here trying to get away from the prevailing society with the wars and all. So it was kind of a gathering of these people who had moved here from other areas. And then over the years, a lot of influence spread to people in the area… and vice-versa.”

1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice6_1372096698 1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice5_1372096696Today, it’s a three day event with two stages, lights, and security. But it still manages to fly rather under the radar, despite the fact that it’s grown to about 1,200 people (in 2012).

“We don’t do a lot of advertising,” said Poppen. “Just 37 years of word of mouth. A lot of the people are just old friends of mine or friends of friends. And a lot of children and grandchildren of friends. It’s really not like a Bonnaroo or anything.”

1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice4_1372096695 1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice3_1372096694Performers on the electric stage this year included Emily Stewart and the Baby Teeth, the Tim Carroll Band, Playing on the Planet, Crazy Face (the music of Van Morrison, Darrell Scott, The Willies, Flea Market Hustlers, Kansas Bible Company, The Lost Sideshow (the music of The Doors) and The Long Players (music from Woodstock). Performers on the acoustic stage included Nathan Nelson, Joe McGuinness, Dave Roth, Susan Shann, and Bell’s Bend String Band.

1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice2_1372096694 1_200_flock_to_poppen_s_summer_solstice9_1372096700This festival started exactly one year later than the annual favorite Hillbilly Days, and always lands on the same weekend.

RIP Crazy Owl

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2 thoughts on “Solstice”

  1. Jeff,
    We have really learned alot from your videos and we will be attending your solstice party this year for the first time.We hope to be able to meet you then. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us we hope to be able to give to future generations, like you do, thanks again.

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