MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — A three-day, annual celebration of the summer solstice is back at the Scandinavian Heritage Park.

The Midsummer Festival, which lasts from Friday through Sunday, is held to honor the longest day of the year — June 21.

That day marks the official beginning of summer, occurring when Earth hits the point in its orbit where the North pole is at its maximum tilt toward the sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the year, according to the Almanac.

“You can’t beat dancing with kids around the Midsummer pole that will come up during the ceremony or just spending time with friends and family in our beautiful park has to be everybody’s favorite, right?” said Midsummer Festival Committee Chairwoman Kae Watson.

The event is an ushering in of light after the long, dark winters and is a cherished tradition in Scandinavia.

Music, vendors, demonstrations, workshops, food and refreshments, kids’ activities and the lightning of the bonfire will all be there.

“I find it real exciting to walk around on Friday night and to meet all of the individuals that had come. We had people from all over, a lot of people from the air base, of course. And so it was just fun to get to know people and where they came from and the things that they like the best of the festival,” said Midsummer Festival Committee member John Mogren.

Admission is free, and hours are:

  • Friday: 5 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.