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Annual sacred walk to 2016 offers reflection

The 18th Annual Labyrinth Walk to the New Year opens at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, in Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland, and will be open until 1 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. The labyrinth will reopen from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. New Year's Day. The event is free, but donations are welcome.

Many Rogue Valley residents and visitors add the labyrinth walk to their New Year celebrations because the sacred space provides a place to reflect on the ending of the old year and welcome the new one, according to Elizabeth Austin, labyrinth owner, facilitator and life coach.

"The sacred walk, co-created by musicians, artists and hosts known as labyrinth angels, provides time and space to envision and practice how humanity can come together in peace and acceptance," Austin says. "Everyone is welcome."

Live music will round out the event, which is free. Donations are welcome.

Here's the music schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 31

3:30 p.m. — Harpists Elizabeth Markell and James Excell

3:45 p.m. — Goddess Temple Dancers

4 p.m. — Opening ceremony with Elizabeth Austin

6 p.m. — Celtic harpist Meredith McFadden

7 p.m. — Pianist Scott Allen McGuire

9 p.m. — Vocalist Nancy Bloom

10 p.m. — Multi-instrumentalist Richard Raven Williams

11 p.m. — Harpists Markell and Excell

Midnight to 1 a.m. — Michael "Hawkeye" Herman

Sunday, Jan. 1

11 a.m. — Threshold Singers

1 p.m. — Vocalist Bloom

2 p.m. — Flute and Japanese koto player Victor Novick

3 p.m. — Silence

4 p.m. — Harmonium and chant with Andy Bayliss

5 p.m. — Harpists Markell and Excell

5:45 p.m. — Goddess Temple Dancers

6 p.m. Closing ceremony: with Austin

Join a Sacred Walk into 2017, a community celebration in Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland. Mail Tribune / File photo