Saturday, June 20, 2020: Make it a date to enjoy a new moon Dark Sky Solstice Celebration commemorating five years of certified International Dark Sky status for the community of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado. Experience a star-filled night sky and the Milky Way, even with the naked eye, the way it was meant to be seen.

The three day event will offer education, entertainment, inspiration, gallery hopping and in town shopping with plenty of outdoor recreation activities including hiking and horseback riding in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

In the dark of night, stargazing and festivities will take place in Galaxy Central hubs at A Painted View Ranch along with Smokey Jack Observatory Star Parties, Amish wagon rides and astrophotography opportunities. The Galaxy Arena will have stellar speakers: cinematographer Harun Mehmedinovic (SKYGLOW, 2018), Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj (Founder, Science in the Wild) and author Paul Bogard (The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light). See amazing galactic images from astrophotographer John Chumack.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), “The Milky Way, the brilliant river of stars that has dominated the night sky and human imaginations since time immemorial, is but a faded memory to one-third of humanity and 80 percent of Americans, according to a new global atlas of light pollution produced by Italian and American scientists.” Organizations like Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley, the festival hosts, seek to preserve the exceptional quality of our natural dark skies.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a starlit night sky and all the fun of this Festival held June 19-21, 2020 in the first Dark Sky Community in Colorado, still the highest elevation of those sites in the world today. Stay informed on the Festival on this page and on Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley.

[Photograph courtesy of Lars Leber]