August 22, 2011 (Julian, CA) -- Organizers of the fourth annual Julian StarFest announced the popular astronomy event will be held at the Menghini Winery from Thursday, Aug. 25 through Sunday, Aug. 28. Presented by the San Diego Astronomy Association and the community of Julian, the event draws thousands of Southern Californians to Julian to enjoy the dark skies.
Telescope and accessory manufacturers, astronomical software, and other exhibitors of astronomical interest will again have an exhibition area from 9 a.m. to dusk Friday, Aug. 26, and Saturday, Aug. 27. This provides an excellent opportunity for expert and novice astronomers to ask questions face-to-face with vendors and often solve troublesome technical difficulties with equipment. The manufacturers enjoy being among their customers and sharing two-way knowledge.
Entry fee for the Astronomy Manufacturers Fair, other exhibitors, a Saturday Astronomy Swap Meet and lectures is $5 for adults, $2.50 for teens 13 to 18, and free for ages 12 and under. Wristbands are valid, but not transferrable, for all days of the event and include an opportunity drawing Saturday evening with thousands of dollars of donated astronomy equipment. Wristbands can be shown at dozens of participating shops and restaurants in Julian and Wynola for exciting discounts and special offers.
A special primitive camping opportunity exists for tent campers and RVs for up to three nights at the beautiful 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 online at www.julianstarfest.com, by mail (forms on web site), or at the gate. Camping regulations, including no open fires, are stated on the website. A few premium camping sites for advanced amateur astronomers are available for $100 per vehicle plus per person fees for campers stated above.
The Julian Lions Club will have available for purchase burgers and hotdogs Friday evening, a pancake breakfast Saturday, and burgers, hot dogs and barbecued chicken with side dishes ‘til dusk on Saturday.
Perhaps the most popular aspect of StarFests past has been the free Saturday night star gazing offered by those who have telescopes present, as well as manufacturers. A new feature this year is a live video feed from a telescope into a darkened tent so that you can see what the telescope is looking at in near real-time. Providing this for both Solar and nighttime viewing will keep you from having to stand in line to look through an eyepiece at a telescope. 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.
Net proceeds from the event will go to support the nonprofit San Diego Astronomy Association’s astronomical education and outreach and future StarFest events.