Oracle State Park - Dancing with the Stars - IDA IDSP Celebration
Posted: 24 March 2015
"Dancing with the Stars", IDA IDSP Celebration, Oracle State Park, 21 March 2015
In early 2014, Oracle State Park and the Oracle Dark Skies Committee began working together to pursue an International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) "International Dark Sky Park" (IDSP) designation for Oracle State Park. In late 2014, IDA announced the designation of Oracle State Park as the 20th worldwide IDSP and the 1st park in the Arizona State Parks system. On Saturday, 21 March 2015, the IDSP celebration event took place and was called "Dancing with the Stars":
The Oracle Fire Station displayed this message:
In the early afternoon, members of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) set up some solar telescopes for viewing of our Sun at the Group Use Area:
Several organizations had booths and displays:
Live Music was provided by a local group of musicians, and of course, there was "Dancing with the Stars":
Oracle State Park Ranger Jennifer Rinio joined the group to add her wonderful voice:
The local Oracle Patio Café offered excellent food for Park visitors:
The presentations began at 4pm with welcomes by Ranger Jennifer Rinio, Park Manager Steve Haas, and Arizona State Parks Executive Director Sue Black:
Then J. Scott Feierabend, Executive Director, International Dark-Sky Association, presented the "International Dark Sky Park" award to Oracle State Park:
Dr. John Barentine, Manager International Dark Sky Places Program, IDA, presented the "IDA Dark Sky Defender 2014" award to the Oracle Dark Skies Committee, with Mike Weasner, Chair of the Committee accepting on behalf of all the Committee members:
County Supervisor Tony Smith read a proclamation enacted by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors:
Mike Weasner and Sue Black then presented Certificates of Appreciation to organizations, businesses, and individuals who supported the IDSP nomination process or donated equipment to Oracle State Park. Some photos:
The final highlight of the presentations was the unveiling of a new sign that will be at the Oracle State Park gate:
Sue Black then made some closing remarks:
Everyone moved to the Kannally Ranch House patio for more live music:
As sunset approached, members of the TAAA and the Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club began setting up telescopes for the evening's star party. The Park's newly donated telescopes were also set up. Here are some of the telescopes that were used by Park visitors:
The weather cooperated nicely for the star party and Park visitors were thrilled by views of the crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter, the Zodiacal Light, star clusters, the Winter Milky Way, galaxies, and nebulae. The last visitor left a little after 10pm.
This was an exciting day for Oracle State Park, Arizona State Parks, and Pinal County, Arizona. Thanks to everyone who supported the IDSP nomination and the day's celebration event.
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