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Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Monday was the summer solstice, or the first official day of summer. As the longest day of the year, we were treated to over 15 hours of daylight, and to top it off, our weather was much cooler with a lower level of humidity, making it the perfect evening for outdoor activities. 

Monday also kicked of Pride week in Minneapolis, and some friends and I attended the Minnesota Freedom Band's annual Pride concert at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. As part of the Minneapolis Free Music and Movies in the Parks series, the bandshell hosts free concerts every evening throughout the summer.

Founded in 1982, the Minnesota Freedom Band is the oldest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied band in Minnesota. From its modest beginnings, they now have a marching band, a concert band, and even a jazz ensemble.  

My friend Juan reading aloud the names of the Orlando shooting victims.

This year's concert payed tribute to Minnesota's own, Prince, and also remembered the victims of the shooting at Pulse Bar in Orlando, Florida. During a medley of Prince songs, as the band played Purple Rain, my friend Juan, a member of the band, read aloud the names and ages of the Orlando victims. It was a somber and very moving moment.

The cooler temperatures, and longer hours of daylight on Monday, made it the perfect evening to get out and enjoy some summertime fun, and the Minnesota Freedom Band's annual Pride concert made the evening even more special.

***How did you celebrate the summer solstice?

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