See the Stars at the Dark Sky Festival

Dark Sky Festival at Harmony’s Town Square, in Harmony, Florida, is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2008 and will start at 7 pm. Started as an event to introduce the public to astronomy and related issues such as promoting the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting, the festival has become as much a community picnic as well. And the festival was given an Honorable Mention from Sky & Telescope Magazine in their national 2004 Astronomy Day awards. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend the festival this year.

These are some of the fun aspects of the festival:

  • Telescopes for viewing the stars
  • Playing in the Cosmic Kids Zone
  • Viewing nocturnal creatures
  • A speaker in the kids zone talking about Myths in the Night
  • Meeting astronomers and other scientists
  • Speakers talking about light pollution
  • Visiting numerous specialty booths
  • Performance of the Silver Clouds Orchestra, a local favorite, at 7:00 pm
  • A free concert at 8 pm by legendary recording artists, Rare Earth, who will be performing their greatest hits including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate”

The aspects the festival is providing include:

  • The value of keeping dark skies to protect wildlife activities
  • Encouraging the development of scientific interest in Florida youth
  • To educate people about lighting fixtures that can help reduce light pollution by focusing light downward instead of upward into the sky
  • Introducing environmentally intelligent lifestyle habits

Press Release:

Get Ready! This Year’s Dark Sky Festival is Out-of-this-World

HARMONY, FL – March 15, 2008 – The 5th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2008. Sponsored by the Harmony Institute, the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau, several astronomy clubs, the Osceola News Gazette and Florida Travel & Life Magazine, the event will kick off at 7pm in Harmony’s Town Square.

“The Dark Sky Festival is intended to celebrate and promote the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting,” said Greg Golgowski, Harmony’s Conservation Director and a key member of the Dark Sky Festival Planning Committee. “Poor outdoor lighting not only washes out the splendor of the heavens, but also reduces visibility at night, wastes energy, and disturbs wildlife.”

As with the past four Dark Sky Festivals, attendees will be able to enjoy viewing the night skies through a variety of telescopes. There also be lots of music and food, numerous specialty booths, an educational zone with presentations from astronomers and other scientists, nocturnal creatures, a Cosmic Kids Zone and so much more.”

Local favorite, the Silver Clouds Orchestra, will start the entertainment portion of the evening at 7:00pm. This will be followed by a free concert by legendary recording artists, Rare Earth.

Rare Earth will take to Harmony’s outdoor amphitheatre stage at 8:00pm for a live concert chock full of their greatest hits including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate.”

“We are ecstatic to have Rare Earth performing at this year’s Festival,” said Shad Tome, president of Harmony Development Group. “We are encouraging everyone to wear comfortable shoes because Rare Earth is known for getting the whole audience up and dancing.”

The festival will be emceed by Magic 107.7’s afternoon drive on-air personality and program director Ken Payne.

The Festival is open to the general public. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend the event this year. The event will conclude around 11:00pm.

This date was selected because it falls on the heels of National Dark Sky week (March 29 – April 4); where people in the United States are encouraged to turn out their unnecessary outdoor lights in order to temporarily reduce light pollution.

For more information, please visit www.DarkSkyFestival.com or call 407-891-8358.

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