BAR HARBOR, Maine — Down East Maine takes stars seriously. They fiercely protect them and are preparing to proudly show them off on Sept. 25-29, at the sixth annual Acadia Night Sky Festival presented by Celestron.
Acadia National Park and Down East Maine are home to some of the most pristine, star-filled night skies that can be found in the eastern U.S. The Acadia Night Sky Festival presented by Celestron, geared for families and astronomers alike, is a great way for residents and visitors to celebrate and promote the protection of the night skies while enjoying nationally recognized speakers, solar viewing, star parties, workshops, hikes and more.
Events during the festival will be held in and around Acadia National Park with venues in the towns of Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Winter Harbor. In addition, a bioluminescent night paddle will take place each evening in Castine.
On Thursday evening, Sept. 25, the festival gets underway with the help of keynote speaker Paul Bogard, the author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, who will remind us all of the benefits of turning off the lights. Bogard’s writing has appeared in print and online in publications including Slate, Salon, Los Angeles Times, Outside, Audubon, Conservation, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic, among many others. Following Bogard’s presentation, attendees may enjoy the “Stars Over Sand Beach” event, where you can sit back and enjoy a tour of the constellations and planets guided by an Acadia National Park ranger.
Other events taking place during the festival are workshops including 3-D star paper folding, ornament making, and night sky photography classes taught in the park. There will be plenty of opportunities to get a close-up and hands-on view of the stars at several different star parties throughout Acadia National Park.
Among the many nationally recognized speakers at the festival, there will also be Tyler Nordgren, world famous night sky photographer and dark sky advocate, as well as Wally Funk, one of the first women to ever undergo astronaut training. Other can’t-miss events include a night sky boat cruise with Abbe Museum educator and Wabanaki storyteller George Neptune, solar viewing at The Jackson Laboratory, night sky photography workshops in Acadia National Park, and outdoor movies.
The 2014 Acadia Night Sky Festival is presented by Celestron Telescopes; major sponsor, Machias Savings Bank; and the festival’s official travel sponsor, Hurley Travel. Additional support comes from Friends of Acadia, The Jackson Laboratory, Bluenose Inn, Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor Inn, and the Bar Harbor Bed & Breakfast Association.
For a complete listing of events happening during the 6th annual Acadia Night Sky Festival presented by Celestron, visit www.acadianightskyfestival.org. For travel information to the area, visit www.barharborinfo.com.