Feast of the Setting Sun

A Solstice Dinner and Celebration

Saturday, June 23, 2018

with a presentation by Brad Lepper, Archaeologist

Sponsored by the Arc of Appalachia 

 $8.00 parking fee, Park closes at 10 pm

$15.00/Plate for Solstice Dinner – Registration Required

Registration for the feast is now closed. (If you are registering after June 19 please call 1-800-752-2757. You will not be guaranteed a spot after June 19th.) 


2:00 pm: Live Music by Steve Free

Steve is an internationally acclaimed award winning singer, songwriter and recording artist. In 2008 he received the Governor’s Arts award as the #1 Artist in his home state of Ohio. Many of the original music and lyrics you will hear today are American Indian inspired. Meet at picnic shelter for this engaging performance.

4:30 pm: Presentation by Brad Lepper, Archaeologist

New insights into the age and meaning of Serpent Mound

There is considerable debate over the age of Serpent Mound. Some archaeologists think the original effigy mound was built by the Adena culture, while others think it wasn’t built until the arrival of the Fort Ancient culture almost a thousand years later. In this presentation, Dr. Lepper reviews what we now know about the antiquity of Serpent Mound and offers his thoughts on what this largest of America’s effigy mounds might have meant to its original builders.

6:00 -7:00 pm: Solstice Feast. Please Pre-Register.

Cost is $15/person. This optional celebratory hot dinner is catered by Ridge Top BBQ. The meal includes macaroni and cheese, green beans, baked beans (vegetarian), and smoked chicken with barbecue sauce. The meal will be served on tables inside the picnic shelter. Be sure to bring a blanket to spread out on the ground after dinner to enjoy the evening sun-watch.

7:15 pm: Serpent Mound Tour 

Much about Serpent Mound remains a mystery – even after more than 150 years of archaeological investigation. In this special guided tour of the great serpent, we will review what we know and don’t know about Serpent Mound, and what this monumental earthen sculpture might have meant to its ancient American Indian builders. The tour will end one hour before the setting of the summer solstice sun. Meet in front of the Museum.

8:00 – 9:00 pm: Sunset Watch

Find a resting spot on your own blankets around the outside of the serpent earthworks and quietly watch the sun descend directly in front of the serpent’s unblinking, eternal gaze. Please respect this ancient ceremonial site by staying off the mound itself.



Bring a blanket or folding chairs for dinner and to watch the setting sun.  

Through the Eyes of the Ancients

In many ancient cultures around the world, people sought to align their daily earthly lives with the grand impersonal rhythms of the cosmos, as revealed in the night sky. The two celestial events that most closely align with the earth’s seasonal cycles are the summer solstice and the winter solstice  – the summer solstice being the time of the year when the cold has the least power over our lives, and light reigns over darkness.  Our universe has lost neither scale nor grandeur during the years of scientific inquiry that now separate us from the Serpent’s original architects. The summer solstice celebration at Serpent Mound is an opportunity to anchor our personal connection to the peoples of our past, and the infinity and majesty of our ever mysterious universe.