UPDATE! Friday’s Winter Solstice Celebration at Frank’s Hill Canceled

MUSCODA—Frank Shadewald has decided to cancel the Dec. 21 solstice observance activities slated for sunset and early evening. Heavy snowfall followed by high winds has created major drifts rendering the site inaccessible.  Saturday’s events are still on, for now. Check with Frank at (608) 739-3079 for details on tomorrow’s event.

If held, the public is invited to Frank’s Hill in southern Richland County to observe the winter solstice starting at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 22. In addition to viewing the sunset and the unique alignment with the effigy mounds on the small hill, amateur astronomers from around southwestern Wisconsin will be on hand to discuss the night sky. The property, owned by Frank Shadewald, is located on STH 193 just off STH 60, a few miles west of Muscoda.

Shadewald—one of the founding members and a current Board member—of Cultural Landscape Legacies, which provides education, protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of the indigenous people who left their legacy on the landscape of the Upper Midwest—said there will be a warming fire available and an opportunity to hear stories about the mound builders and other ancient inhabitants of North and South America. Saturday afternoon will be geared toward speakers discussing Native American influences locally, regionally and throughout the Western Hemisphere.  The festivities on each day will conclude by 7 p.m. although people are welcome to stay longer.

Shadewald said, “I want to make sure people of all faiths and beliefs know they are welcome to join the solstice observance on the hill. The site is considered sacred by many and is a perfect place to embrace winter and the new year. If you haven’t been there before, now would be a good time to experience the hill.”

Shadewald encouraged participants to bring their own binoculars or telescopes and solstice stories. He said participants should dress warmly and bring a hot beverage or snack if they wish.

Directions to Frank’s Hill area as follows: From the north end of the Muscoda bridge at the intersections of Hwys. 80 & 60, drive west on scenic Hwy. 60 for two miles and turn north on STH 193. Park by the first gate on the east side of the road, about ¼ mile off of Hwy. 60, and walk to the top of the hill. For more information, call Shadewald at (608) 739-3079.

Photographs of the effigy mounds on Frank’s Hill may be viewed at the Cultural Landscape Legacies website at www.clli.org

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