The sun rose and set yesterday on the Celebration of the Winter Solstice.
The Doves of Peace circled high above while the Does wound their way through the crowd. But it wasn’t until 6:03 in the evening, when the sun stood still, that Park celebrants finally felt a sense of calm.
“That’s when I knew things were going to be all right,” says Dewi Beruang, who always attends the Celebration.
“That’s when I thought, ‘We will work this out. Zoocracy is too good a concept to fail.'”
The last minute lifting of the curfew that Police had imposed on Park Animals on December 8 added a needed boost to the festivities, as well.
“We were hoping it would happen, but we couldn’t be sure until we got the word at about noon,” says Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for The Park’s Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations.
“Then, a huge cheer went up through the crowd and I knew we were in for the long haul.”
That “long haul” lasted well past midnight. The food stations stayed open, the bands played extra sets, and the students from the Hani Gajah School of Art switched from painting portraits to painting faces. Even the Herman Stoat Dance Company offered an encore performance.
And all of it was appreciated. After the past few weeks of uncertainty, unrest, and outright fear, attendees seemed delighted to enjoy each other’s company and to look to the future again.
“It was … magical,” says Beruang. “Simply magical.”