What is the Southwest Astronomy Festival?
The Southwest Astronomy Festival is coordinated by the Cedar Breaks National Monument and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, with the help of numerous participating organizations within the community. Together, we provide a series of events that focus on astronomy, dark sky preservation, and having fun in the great outdoors. Through star parties, sun parties, and many other activities, we are seeking to foster a relationship between the community and the night sky.
Where is the Southwest Astronomy Festival?
Events are held at many locations around Southwest Utah, primarily in the Iron County and Washington County areas, as well as Pipe Spring, Arizona. As this event grows in the future, our range of locations may as well.
If you are in Southwest Utah, Northwest Arizona, or Southern Nevada, the Southwest Astronomy Festival may not be far from your own backyard.
For an idea of where activities were held in the past, check out last year's SW Astronomy Fest schedule. You can also check out the Google Location Map for the first Southwest Astronomy Festival (2017). Also, search the Cedar Breaks Event Calendar for the month of September to see upcoming Astronomy Festival locations as they are added.
Who is the Southwest Astronomy Festival for?
Everyone! The Southwest Astronomy Festival is open to people of all ages and experience levels interested in astronomy, dark sky preservation, or those just looking for family-friendly events.
How much does the Southwest Astronomy Festival cost?
Nothing! Thanks in large part to the efforts of the National Park Service and partner organizations like local libraries and astronomy non-profits, almost all events are free and open to the public.
The one exception is events at Pipe Spring National Monument. Cost is $7 to enter the monument for all people aged 16 and older. It is free for all people 15 and younger. An Interagency Park Pass can also be used.
Do I have to register for events?
You do not need to register for most of our events. Everyone is invited, and we don't expect to run out of room.
Some events are advertised with a: "Please register for guaranteed seating". You do not have to register for these events either, but it is possible we will run out of seats. In order to guarantee a seat for yourself, please email us and let us know which event you would like to register for. The event is still free and open, and after registered guests have been seated, seating is first come, first served.
Finally, some of our workshops are listed as: "Must register." Unfortunately, there is no wiggle room here; we do not expect to have any spots left in these workshops and participants must register in order to attend the event.
If you would like to register for an event, please email Leesa at e-mail us and let us know which event/date you would like to register for. Events are still free to the public, including registered ones.
Why are there so many events? Why not just have one big event?
While many of the locations used are pristine natural areas, they could not accommodate the thousands of locals that come out to the events at one time.
We also feel that by holding astronomy related events within our communities, we are actively creating a link between the individuals in that community and the night sky.
Are all events first come, first serve?
No. While all events are open to the public, some events have limited seating, particularly workshops. For details on which events to RSVP to, check out the finalized Southwest Astronomy Fest event schedule, available in early May.
Who organizes the Southwest Astronomy Festival?
The Southwest Astronomy Festival is coordinated by the Cedar Breaks National Monument and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, with the help of numerous participating organizations within the community.
How can I get involved?
The first Southwest Astronomy Festival was made possible by over 100 people. Clubs like the Southern Utah Space Foundation and the Saint George Astronomy Group were particularly willing to provide support. If you are interested in volunteering for the Southwest Astronomy Festival, please check out our page on how you can Get Involved in the Southwest Astronomy Festival.