Fountain Hills’ 2nd Annual Dark Sky Festival is a continuing celebration of the community’s designation as an International Dark Sky Community and educational experience about the importance of protecting our night sky.
Mark your calendar for March 30 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm and partake of the vast array of activities for all ages.
Participants will learn about how light pollution harms our pollinators when they get a tour of the Community Garden. Younger children will love the hands-on activities at the River of Time Museum. The Library will showcase its telescope lending program and offer more children’s activities. Wild at Heart and Ranger Amy from McDowell Mountain Regional Park will be bringing owls, raptors, and nocturnal desert critters.
In the Community Center, take a seat for three short presentations given by nationally-recognized speakers. Dr. Jeffrey Hall of Lowell Observatory will speak about “The Discovery Channel Telescope: Lowell Observatory’s Newest Eye on the Sky”. Dr. John Barentine will share “The Role of Cities in Confronting the Loss of Nighttime Darkness.” And the Science Channel’s co-host of the tv show Meteorite Men, Geoffrey Notkin, will speak about “The Adventures of a Meteorite Man”.
The Virtual Reality experience will take participants 13 and older on an adventure through the solar system in a spacecraft to get up close to each planet. Take a planet in your hand in this 3D solar system and examine it. This is a one-of-a-kind experience!
Special solar telescopes are available during the daytime for you to check out the sunspots. When it gets dark, visit one of a dozen telescopes to peer at the moon, planets, galaxies and more. Dr. Jeffrey Hall of Lowell Observatory and Ted Blank of the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club will take participants on a laser tour of the night sky in the center of Centennial Circle.
The student art contest and astrophotography contest were big hits last year. Be sure to check them out to see the talent of all ages in our community.
In addition to all these exciting activities, participants can relax in our beer garden or food court. Choose from five food trucks, beer from Bone Haus Brewing, and wine from Grapeables. Live music will be provided by local artist Scott Hallock.
For more information, visit fhdarksky.com.