Midsummer Merriment at Fordhall Organic Farm

June 5, 2024

Fordhall Farm to celebrate summer solstice for third year in a row!

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Litha folk band celebrating summer solstice at fordhall farm

Midsummer has been marked as a day of significance for thousands of years and, for the third year in a row, Fordhall Organic Farm are joining in the celebrations with a relaxed evening for all the community to enjoy.

Charlotte Hollins, Fordhall Community Land Initiative General Manager, said:

‘We are thrilled to once again be celebrating the summer season on the farm – there will be live folk music, a roaring fire, a Fordhall feast to enjoy and crafts to keep the whole family entertained. For us, the celebration of the Solstice is an opportunity to come together with friends, old and new, to watch the sun go down, and to say thank you for all that the future harvest will bring.’

Midsummer, or the summer solstice, claims the longest daylight hours of the year – giving rise to many traditions, both historic and modern, and folklore tales.

While ancient traditions, such as gathering at Stonehenge to watch the sun rising through the Heel Stone, or watching towering bonfires in Norway, are still observed, around the world people have developed their own unique ways to celebrate. For over 100 years, in Fairbanks, Alaska, crowds have gathered to watch a baseball game under the midnight sun, while Icelandic people also make the most of the midnight sun by hiking or playing golf through the night.

Fordhall celebrations follow the more traditional route of gathering for feasts, storytelling, fires and folk music. No baseball games or golf here! Following the success of their past two solstice events, the team at the community owned farm, located in Market Drayton, North Shropshire, are knee deep in planning their third celebration of the summer season.  This year, the focus is on making the community central to the celebrations, and they are eager to hear from anyone who feels they can contribute. Whether you have skills to share a suitable activity or simply want to be part of the excitement of organising the event on the night, Fordhall would love to hear from you.

The 21st June will see Fordhall welcome back folk band, Litha, who will once again perform their traditional live music, while revellers dive into a world of storytelling, dancing, campfires, seasonal crafts and delicious, freshly prepared local and organic food!

Charlotte said: ‘I am so grateful to our event co-host, Creative Arts Producer, Suzanne Byrnes-Antoney, without whom these gatherings wouldn’t be possible. Each year, working closely with the farm, she shares her knowledge and art. For us to bring about an event, which connects people with each other, the season and the landscape. With a modern twist on the traditions and folklore of our past. We all come together, in nature, to celebrate this special time of the year.

‘This year we are even able to offer camping tickets! In previous years, it has been difficult to welcome visitors from further afield due to accommodation availability. We hope the addition of camping will mean we see more revellers than ever!

‘There are also opportunities to get involved behind the scenes. If you are interested in volunteering at this special event, please do get in touch to find out more.’

Fordhall’s ‘Midsummer Merriment’ summer solstice event is taking place on 21st June, 6pm-10pm. The event promises to be family friendly, with all ages welcome. For more information, bookings and ticket prices, please visit www.fordhallfarm.com/event/summer-solstice-seasonal-celebration or call 01630 638 696.

To find out more about volunteering at the event, please email project@fordhallfarm.com