Sun King -- where are you?
For as long as there has been a Wooden Boat Show, there has been an uproarious Solstice Pageant on the North House Folk School grounds. The pageant, organized by the Good Harbor Hill Players, celebrates the arrival of the summer and takes on a topic of local interest—sometimes provocative, sometimes pacifying—but always entertaining.
The News-Herald reached one of the primary organizers of the pageant, Grand Marais artist Betsy Bowen this week and asked what pageant goers could expect this year. Bowen laughed and said the theme of this year’s event is the North Shore’s endless winter. “I think that is something that resonates with everyone,” she said, adding, “I hope we won’t still be feeling winter’s effects the night of the show!”
Bowen and dozens of community members work doggedly in the weeks before the pageant, updating costumes and puppets from previous pageants and creating new ones at Bowen’s studio. Bowen said the audience will see some new masks and fabrics this year. The local drumming group GAMEPAJAL also practices for weeks to provide a wonderful soundtrack to the show.
Will the familiar and beloved pageant protagonist, the Sun King be back? Bowen laughed again, “Oh yes, we’ve all been hoping to see the Sun King for quite a while now!”
The pageant will be held on the North House commons at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. Come early to get a good seat and dress warm, in case winter weather truly is lingering.
If you would like to learn more about taking part in future pageants or joining the community puppet-building workshops, contact Bowen at Betsy Bowen Studios at (218) 387-1992.