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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Look up, Star Gazers!

This is the time of year for Earth Day and various other events that emphasize the responsibility we all have for preserving this earth that we live in. The stars in the heavens are part of this world that are slowly getting obscured by the lightening of our planet. Have you looked at the night lights of Earth via satellite? It's available online, you just have to search for it. It is awesome to see the many lights in the worlds largest cities. You can see them all the way through the atmosphere.

The 5th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony is intended to "celebrate and promote the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting." On April 5 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., star gazers will convene at Harmony's Town Square with their telescopes and enjoy a dark sky with only stars illuminating. Attendants to the
festival will not enjoy star gazing, they can meet and talk to astronomers and other scientists, enjoy visiting specialty booths and be entertained by a special concert. There will also be a Cosmic Kids Zone just for those who are young and young at heart.

Quality outdoor lighting will be featured during the festival as a way of increasing awareness to light pollution which, in some places, obscures the natural night lights, and also disrupts the surrounding natural environment, wastes energy, and has the potential to cause health problems.


Get Ready! This Year’s Dark Sky Festival is Out-of-this-World

HARMONY, FL – March 15, 2008 – The 5th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2008. Sponsored by the Harmony Institute, the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau, several astronomy clubs, the Osceola News Gazette and Florida Travel & Life Magazine, the event will kick off at 7pm in Harmony's Town Square.

“The Dark Sky Festival is intended to celebrate and promote the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting,” said Greg Golgowski, Harmony’s Conservation Director and a key member of the Dark Sky Festival Planning Committee. “Poor outdoor lighting not only washes out the splendor of the heavens, but also reduces visibility at night, wastes energy, and disturbs wildlife.”

As with the past four Dark Sky Festivals, attendees will be able to enjoy viewing the night skies through a variety of telescopes. There also be lots of music and food, numerous specialty booths, an educational zone with presentations from astronomers and other scientists, nocturnal creatures, a Cosmic Kids Zone and so much more.”

Local favorite, the Silver Clouds Orchestra, will start the entertainment portion of the evening at 7:00pm. This will be followed by a free concert by legendary recording artists, Rare Earth.

Rare Earth will take to Harmony’s outdoor amphitheatre stage at 8:00pm for a live concert chock full of their greatest hits including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate.”

“We are ecstatic to have Rare Earth performing at this year’s Festival,” said Shad Tome, president of Harmony Development Group. “We are encouraging everyone to wear comfortable shoes because Rare Earth is known for getting the whole audience up and dancing.”

The festival will be emceed by Magic 107.7’s afternoon drive on-air personality and program director Ken Payne.

The Festival is open to the general public. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend the event this year. The event will conclude around 11:00pm.

This date was selected because it falls on the heels of National Dark Sky week (March 29 – April 4); where people in the United States are encouraged to turn out their unnecessary outdoor lights in order to temporarily reduce light pollution.

For more information, please visit or call 407-891-8358.

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