File this one under “bucket list festivals”. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is an annual event in Jasper, Alberta, Canada, which starts just as the “dark months” of Canada start coming into focus, but before the freezing weather starts. It thus sits the event – which runs this year from October 14th to 23th – in the perfect time of year to go stargazing in the region. And what happens at the event? Well, it’s described as “an ever-growing celebration aimed at connecting all ages to our universe and beyond.”
Now in its 6th year, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival was originally created to celebrate the Dark Sky Preserve designation that Jasper received in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Since that time, the festival has grown into a celebration throughout the entire Dark Sky month, highlighting two featured weekends packed with events, speakers and activities that promote science, space and conservation.
The festival’s separately ticketed events will let you spend a morning with Astronaut Jeremy Hansen, and Evening with Bill Nye The Science Guy, witness the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra under the stars and much more. And just added to the lineup of events is An Evening with George Takei, which will take place on Friday, October 21st.
Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, Takei is also recognized world-wide as a leader in social justice, LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. With nearly 10 million likes on Facebook, 1.81 million followers on Twitter and an increasingly popular YouTube channel, Takei’s strong social media presence allows him to advocate for the causes he cares about, and keeps him connected to the digital generation. Along with his heavy cyberspace involvement, Takei is also an accomplished author and Broadway actor.
The 2016 Jasper Dark Sky Festival presented by Rocky Mountaineer runs October 14th – 23rd. Tickets are on sale now. To sign up and for more information, please visit: jasperdarksky.travel.