The Texas Night Sky Festival will shine brightly once again

  • March 1, 2017
  • News

Close to 3,000 people attended the inaugural Festival in 2016. Back for its second year, on March 18, at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., thousands will again come together for a celebration of the starlit skies of Texas.

This year, the Texas Night Sky Festival® will feature more activities, more booths and more speakers and entertainers for people of all ages. Families won’t want to miss going inside one of the two mobile planetariums, or taking a closer look at the sun with a special solar telescope.

If you come with an appetite, no problem. There will be several food vendors on deck serving up a variety of delicious food. Grab a bite, then sit down in front of the stage to enjoy some live music. Relax, learn and have fun by visiting the education booths, hearing from our speakers, earning either the Dark Sky or Midnight Defender Patch, and being enchanted at the Teepee by tales of the night sky from Native American and European traditions.

Don’t forget to pick up a plant, as the Hays County Master Gardeners will be holding their annual plant sale at the Festival to highlight the needs of plants and pollinators for natural darkness.  Then, when the sun sets, the fun rises! Attendees can visit with astronomers and peer through telescopes or stargaze at the star party. Photography enthusiasts will want to stick around for the intro to night sky photography lesson and yoga lovers will want to bring their yoga mats for “yoga under the stars.” Everyone is welcome to bring a camp chair or blanket to the star party to relax and celebrate the night!

Admission including all the activities and parking are FREE thanks to our generous sponsors. To learn more about them and to see a complete schedule of activities, please visit http://www.texasnightskyfestival.org/.

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Online Auction

The Silent Auction will offer numerous great buys but be sure to visit the Online Auction featuring three items.

A rare artist proof “Star Trails Over Mount Rainier” on 16” x 24” Aluminum. 

There were only eight prints produced of the famed photo that was selected by the U.S. Postal Service as a Forever Stamp to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial. The photo depicts a combined 200 exposure image of stars over Mt. Rainier.

Matt Dieterich is the award winning astrophotographer who captured the photo in 2015.  “This night was one I will never forget,” Dieterich said, quoted in a Seattle Times article in 2016. “After working with visitors at the Mount Rainier astronomy program on June 22, 2015, I noticed there was an aurora, so I drove down to Reflection Lake to capture it.”

Now, the last of his limited-edition artist proofs for this photo, number eight out of eight, will be in Dripping Springs awaiting a new owner. The 16” X 24” aluminum metal print is hand signed by Dieterich, comes ready to hang and includes a certificate of authenticity.

A Two-Night Stay During the Week at the Award Winning Property know as The Plant at Kyle

You and up to 9 additional guests will delight in staying in this tastefully furnished, 3-bedroom home in the beautiful Texas Hill Country between Kyle and Wimberley where you can see the stars! The home has spacious screened-in porches and an outdoor covered salt water swimming pool with adjacent BBQ grill. The focus here, at this pet-friendly home, is on year-round indoor/outdoor living perfected in classic Texas ranch houses. Your additional guests may even pitch a tent in the accommodating yard around the property.

You’ll work with the agent to select a 2017 date that the home is available for you and your guests to stay two nights during the week (Monday through Thursday).  Gather with family, friends or colleagues at this limestone and steel architectural landmark on 17 Hill Country acres just 30 miles from downtown Austin. With dramatic and varied spaces perfect for entertaining, this is a truly unique setting for an event large or small. Relax in “the world’s largest screened-in porch”, read a book on one of the several shaded patios, or on a hammock hanging in a grove of trees.

The Plant at Kyle is an award-winning architectural landmark, the building was designed by Lake/Flato Architects as a private residence using steel recycled from the Alamo Cement Plant. The house was completed in 1989.

For more information, visit http://www.theplantatkyle.com/full/index.html

A Two-Night Stay at Lakefront Townhome with Boat Dock on Horseshoe Bay

Two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhome with great views of the lake. Get away to this beautiful Horseshoe Bay waterfront retreat located on the lake within easy walking distance to the Resort Hotel. With a water view from every room, this 2-bedroom townhome also offers convenient access to restaurants, miniature golf, and several marinas in the area, where you can rent boats or jet skis. Comfortably sleeps 6: Master bedroom with king bed plus day bed; Guest bedroom with queen bed plus day bed.

People interested in bidding on any of these unique items can go to http://idatexas.org/auction/ to place their bid. The auction will close at 7:15 pm on March 18th, at the same time that the silent auction closes on-site at the Festival.

The Texas Night Sky Festival® is co-hosted by the International Dark Sky Association-Texas Section, the City of Dripping Springs and the Texas Master Naturalist-Hays County Chapter.