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McMenamins celebrates the autumnal equinox

'The warmth and the light of friends gathered around the bounty of the earth...'

The last day of summer marks the beginning of a harvest celebration at McMenamins Grand Lodge.

As the day when light and dark are equal, the Autumnal Equinox on Saturday, Sept. 23, holds great symbolic value for ancient (and contemporary) practitioners of Druidism and Wicca.

The day also holds special significance for company co-founder Mike McMenamin. 'The Equinox is the day [jazz saxophonist] John Coltrane was born, so it's a great day to celebrate!'

McMenamin, a long-time Coltrane fan, dedicated one of the sun parlors flanking the Grand Lodge to a lesser known work from the artist's repertoire, fittingly entitled 'Equinox.'

This room will be the venue for the celebration of the changing of seasons. The room's original portraits of Coltrane and other jazz legends by local artist Cathie Joy Young will greet visitors on Saturday.

Bob's Bar, the Yardhouse Pub, Ruby's Spa, the Doctors Office Bar and other amenities will also be open that day.

Music will be provided as part of McMenamin's Great Northwest Music Tour.

The Midnight Serenaders will perform hits from the 1920s and '30s at 3 p.m., followed by Ashleigh Flynn with Sneakin' Out at 6 p.m., ending with a performance of folk and roots by Billy Kennedy and Friends at 7 p.m.

Kids will enjoy watching Joe Mishkin, the Balloon Guy, twist improbable hats, animals, spacepacks and more between 4 and 7 p.m.

And, of course, McMenamins handcrafted ales, wines, spirits and pub fare will be available for purchase throughout the day at each of the restaurants and small bars on the estate.

McMenamins' Equinox Festival will run from 3 p.m. 'til 9 p.m. on Saturday and is free for all ages.