Monday, July 18, 2005

festivities are over

Every year, shortly after 4th of July, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is held in State College and on the campus of Penn State.
It is a remarkably good little art festival for a very small town. Astonishingly so. Good fun. This year, unusually enough I made it to the festival (early/mid July is prime conference time); weather was lousy, hot, sticky and intermittent heavy thunderstorms, but it was another good one.

For the last few years, at the instigation of Prof Charlton and her horde of students, the astronomy department has held Astrofest during the art festival.
An extended open night over the 4 nights of Artfest, with public lectures, demos, activitities, including kids activities, and observing. Well, not much observing this year, but still.
Also, unusually, this year I had a chance to volunteer for one night, kids activities (good training) and then I was roving for wherever help was needed.
Even with the weather and lack of observing ~ 2000 people came. Astonishing, and most seemed to enjoy themselves. The talks get better and more varied each year (I can say that, I didn't give any), and the activities are run very smoothly, there is institutional memory, experienced people, and a lot of hard work by Prof Charlton and her core group of volunteers.

Till next year.


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