2016 Jasper Dark Sky Festival - Jack Fusco Photography

Although distinction of seasons in San Diego can be a bit difficult, I found myself a little bummed out that Summer is almost over. Shortly after that, I realized that meant it was almost time for the Jasper Dark Festival!

For the past three years, I've been fortunate enough to visit Jasper National Park during this time and I couldn't be more excited to return again this year. The past three festivals have been highlighted by appearances from Col. Chris Hadfield, Grant, Kari and Tory from the MythBusters, and long list of all star members from Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, TELUS World of Science Edmonton and Parks Canada

I've said it in the past, but each year I've wondered how the Tourism Jasper team will possibly top their efforts moving forward. I mean, Col. Chris Hadfield is not easily topped as a guest. He could tell you a story about what he ate for lunch and it would likely inspire you to change your life.

So, how do you follow that up? Well, you follow up it with Bill Nye and George Takei as your guest speakers! That's right! On Saturday, October 15th Bill Nye the Science Guy will be speaking at Centennial Field and then on Friday the 21st, George Takei will be taking things over! Hats off to go Tourism Jasper for setting that up!

Fair warning, the events at Centennial Field filled up pretty quickly, so don't hesitate if you're interested in going. If you're not or if you miss out on tickets, there's a huge list of events that range from daytime activities to night time stargazing. Swing by the full events page on the official festival website so you can start making your plans!

Although I've immensely enjoyed the talks at Centennial Field, one of the events I'm most looking forward to this year doesn't start until after George Takei finishes up. The Beyond the Stars stargazing event at Lake Annette from 8-11pm has been a consistent highlight of my previous festivals. Here's a few of the thoughts I shared from my 2015 recap

 "As I walked around, using just my red headlamp, I tried to visit all the Lake Annette event had to offer. It was when I got a bit closer to the lake that I heard a voice that I instantly remembered. It was the voice of Bruce McCurdy from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. When I heard his voice he was in the middle of explaining some facts about our Moon to some other festival goers. During the day, I probably couldn't pick Bruce out from a crowd if my life depended on it. Instead, it was the kindness and enthusiasm in his voice when sharing this information that made me instantly remember our conversation last year. It's people like Bruce, the other members of the RASC, the Tourism Jasper team, and everyone else eager to share their knowledge and love of the stars, that continue to make Lake Annette one of my favorite events."

While the festival still has a little bit of time before it arrives, I'm already thinking about what spots I'm going venture to this time. What favorite spots I'll see again and what new places I will hopefully see this year. I can't wait to see some old friends and look forward to the new ones I'm sure I'll make. I'm sure I'll be all over the park while visiting, but I'm sure you'll be able to find me at Lake Annette for Beyond the Stars.

I hope to see you there!

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