Midsummer at the Museum

Jun 11, 2014
Midsummer at the Museum includes a Juhannus feast under lights.

Thomaston — Knox Museum will host its second annual Midsummer at the Museum, a community solstice celebration in special honor of the museum’s Finnish Heritage House neighbors and their annual Juhannus feast, Saturday, June 21, on the grounds of Montpelier, just off Route 1 at the turn to St. George.

The event, complete with music, food and games, will start at 6:30 p.m. Not coincidently, June 21 also marks the date Henry and Lucy Knox and their children sailed up the Georges River and arrived in Thomaston for the very first time.

The Lorna Prescott Jazz Quartet, featuring vocalist Lorna Prescott and band members Mickey Felder, Spike Hyssong and Chris Rogers, will kick off the evening with their first set under the apple trees behind Montpelier, while Larry Oakes of Spruce Head puts the finishing touches on his famous roast pig.

Guests are invited to fashion flower crowns to wear in celebration of the solstice and create traditional paper bag luminaries — all with materials provided; play lawn games; inspect the pig roast rig; sign up for the “Wife”-Carrying Race; and enjoy drinks, nibbles and live jazz until dinner is served.

After dinner comes that old midsummer favorite, the “Wife”-Carrying Race, and a rousing fiddle and guitar set by the band Darlin’ Corey, featuring Matt Shipman on guitar and Erica Brown on fiddle, around the traditional Finnish bonfire.

At sunset, the bonfire will be lit and the dancing will continue. After the bonfire has burnt out and night fallen, guests are invited to repair to Montpelier’s rear viewing deck to enjoy a fireworks display designed by Thomaston’s Peter Lammert. The evening ends back under the apple trees with a nightcap and second set of popular standards by the Lorna Prescott Jazz Quartet.

Advance tickets are $10, $8 for museum members and $2 for kids age 4 to 12, and can be purchased online at knoxmuseum.org or by calling 354-8062 before 3 p.m. June 21. Tickets purchased at the door, as available, will be $15/$12/$4. Younger children are admitted free. Admission includes dinner, soft drinks, games and entertainment. A cash bar will serve wine and beer.

Midsummer will take place rain or shine, with seating for dining and a tent provided. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for seating around the bonfire, and to carpool when possible. For more information visit knoxmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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