Bays Mountain StarFest

The 30th StarFest at Bays Mountain Park is soon upon us. Expect beautiful fall colors, cooler weather, and lots of astronomy fun for this astronomical convention/star party. The event is hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club (BMAC) and the staff of Bays Mountain Park.

The theme of this year’s event is Small Bodies. This is the astronomical term representing objects in our solar system that does not include the sun, planets, dwarf planets, or their satellites. This would include comets, asteroids, dust, etc. As we’ve already seen some interesting comets (and meteors!) this year and awaiting the hopefully grand exhibition of Comet ISON (2012 S1), we’re going to focus on these nearby interlopers.

As this is our 30th anniversary, we are going to make this event extremely special. One facet is the premium gift. We’ve had T-shirts with unique art included with the price of admission for almost every year of StarFest, since 1988 (see the shirt design gallery below). And we’ve never charged for it. We still won’t charge extra, but this year will include a fleece jacket with StarFest logo embroidery. There are many choices relating to the jacket, so pay close attention on the registration form.

Another facet is sponsorship. Bill and Tammy Burgess of Burgess Optical are providing a distinctive “thank you” to all registered delegates for support of their business over the years. This being a unique 1¼″ Mars/Jupiter filter utilizing specific bandpasses to enhance surface features and darken other features. This new product will increase contrast and is designed to meet the exacting needs of the planetary observer. These filters are valued at $79.99. For those of you who attend with more than one family member and may not want multiple filters, you may exchange the extra filters for $49 worth of credit each. I think they are being very generous, so please thank them when you see them. Other sponsors are the Bays Mountain Park Association and Bays Mountain Productions. They are providing funding to help make this singular event affordable.

Registration is $85 per person and includes everything. Full-time students with a student ID or those 21 or less receive a $10 discount.

This three-day long gathering is filled with great activities, but also makes sure there’s quality free time for you to explore the Park and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow StarFesters. We’ll have six keynote speakers, a cool activity/workshop, planetarium shows, a number of gifts, and five fantastic meals. Attendance will be limited and registration must be done prior to the deadline, Sept. 20, 2013. There are NO walk-ins. Please complete the registration form for each person and mail, fax, or e-mail it in so we can see you in October.

Please visit our website and click on the StarFest tab for all the details and the registration form.

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