The 21st annual Winter Solstice Celebration, presented by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, will take place Saturday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. in the church's new sanctuary at 35 Miller St.

As always, the community event will feature music, dance, storytelling, poetry and other seasonal entertainment for all ages. Proceeds will benefit the Belfast UU minister’s discretionary fund, which helps needy residents of the Belfast area. Snow date is Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m.

The Winter Solstice Celebration marks the shortest day of the year (Dec. 21) when, in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky. The winter solstice has been a time of significance to people around the world for many centuries, marking the sun’s return and a hopeful turn towards spring renewal and rebirth. It has been observed in many ways by various cultures, including festivals, rituals, silliness, and special music and dances.

The annual UU Celebration draws from many of those traditions. The event includes the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast Choir, the Highland Mary Morris dancers, a dance by the Sword Sisters and other entertainment. An original Mummer's Play, re-written each year, is always a highlight of the event.

Seating is limited, so early arrival is recommended. Admission is $10; $5 for children and youth age 6 to 18; and $25 for a family. Children younger than age 6 are admitted free. For more information, contact Joanne Moesswilde at

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast is a welcoming liberal religious community open to all with inquiring minds. Sunday services and children’s program begin at 10 a.m.

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