Come and enjoy the largest FREE public star party in Southern California at the 7th Annual Julian StarFest, hosted by the San Diego Astronomy Association, under the dark skies of Menghini Winery near San Diego’s mountain resort of Julian (think fine wine and fresh baked hot apple pie).
This is a weekend of astronomical events, including guest speakers, exhibits by major telescope and accessory vendors, an astronomy swap meet, a drawing on Saturday afternoon with thousands of dollars of donated astronomy equipment, astronomy games and crafts for kids, food vendors, an optional night sky photography workshop on Friday by highly-acclaimed photographer Dennis Mammana, an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of the world famous Palomar Observatory on Saturday morning with our own Palomar Observatory docent, and finally the free public star party on Saturday night.
The star party on Saturday night is free. The daily entry fee for the Astronomy Manufacturers Fair, other exhibitors, a Saturday Astronomy Swap Meet, and lectures is only $5 for adults, $2.50 for teens 13 to 18, and free for ages 12 and under. The entry fee includes a ticket for the mega-drawing Saturday afternoon. Additional drawing tickets may also be purchased. As an added bonus, the entry fee includes a StarFest wristband, which may be shown at dozens of participating shops and restaurants in Julian and Wynola for exciting discounts and special offers.
To sign up for Dennis Mammana’s night sky photography workshop on Friday, or the Palomar Observatory tour on Saturday, see www.julianstarfest.com for registration information.
Telescope and accessory manufacturers, astronomical software vendors, and other exhibitors of astronomical interest will have booths from 9 a.m. to dusk, both Friday, August 22, and Saturday, August 23. This provides an excellent opportunity for expert and novice astronomers to ask questions face-to-face with vendors and often troubleshoot technical issues with equipment. The manufacturers enjoy being among their customers and sharing two-way knowledge.
A special primitive camping opportunity exists for tent campers and RVs for up to three nights at the beautiful Menghini Winery. Camping fees, which include daily admission to the events on site, are $30 per adult, $15 per teen and free for those 12 and under. Reservations for camping can be made online using PayPal at www.julianstarfest.com, by mail (forms available on the website), or at the gate. Camping regulations, including no open fires, are stated on the website.
A variety of food, from full meals to home-made ice cream and other snacks, will be sold by local vendors on Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning.
The most popular aspect of past StarFests has been the free Saturday night stargazing offered by those who have telescopes present, as well as manufacturers. Views of the sun and night sky wonders will also available as a live video feed from a telescope into a darkened tent. The Star Party runs from dusk to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Please bring a low-level red light, to protect night vision while walking around the area. Red cellophane to cover flashlights as well as inexpensive key chain red flashlights will be available. Parking is limited, so please carpool to limit vehicle traffic at the event.
Visit the Julian StarFest web page for more information about camping, schedule of speakers, the night sky photography workshop, the Palomar Observatory tour, and other activities: www.julianstarfest.com or visit us on Facebook.
Net proceeds from the event will go to support the nonprofit San Diego Astronomy Association’s (SDAA) astronomical education and outreach. See www.SDAA.org for more information about SDAA.
Star Party on Saturday night is free. Day use only $5 for adults, $2.50 for teens 13 to 18, and free for ages 12 and under. A special primitive camping opportunity exists for tent campers and RVs for up to three nights at the beautiful Menghini Winery. Camping fees, which include daily admission to the events on site, are $30 per adult, $15 per teen and free for those 12 and under.