• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

National Park Service Hosts Summer Star Festival August 10

Star party at Rancho Sierra Vista.
The Milky Way Galaxy is on display at a previous National Park Service star party.
Courtesy of Mike Shaw

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News Release Date: July 23, 2013
Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – The National Park Service invites the public to attend the Summer Star Festival at Paramount Ranch on Saturday, August 10 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The free event will feature star-gazing, constellation tours, music and children's activities.

"Though we're adjacent to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, you'd be amazed at what you can see and experience in our night sky," said Robert Cromwell, park ranger for the National Park Service. 

Local fifth-grade musicians, as well as the Ranger Band, will welcome visitors with live, astronomy-themed music beginning at 7:30 p.m. California Lutheran University physics professor Mike Shaw will present a 30-minute talk starting at 8 p.m., followed by a constellation tour with Hal Jandorf, astronomy professor at Moorpark College and president of the Ventura County Astronomical Society.

From 8:45 to 10:30 p.m., visitors can utilize high-powered telescopes aimed toward the moon, Saturn and other objects in the Milky Way Galaxy. There will also be family-friendly astronomical activities and the opportunity to learn about nocturnal animals.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a flashlight with a red lens or a red cellophane filter.

Reservations are not required and parking is free. Further information is available by calling the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center at 805-370-2301.

Paramount Ranch is located at 2903 Cornell Road in Agoura Hills.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park System, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/samo.

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