Getting ready

Lance Cpl. David Park, one of more than a dozen Marines from MCCES on board the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center helps clean up at the Sky's the Limit Observatory Saturday, Sept. 14.

TWENTYNINE PALMS — Few tickets remained unsold as volunteers made last minute preparation for this year’s Night Sky Fest Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Sky’s the Limit Observatory, 9697 Utah Trail, the community services building, Joe Davis Drive south of Luckie Park, and Patriot Hall, Luckie Avenue and Joe Davis Drive.

The planning committee, which includes representatives of the observatory, Joshua Tree National Park and Joshua Tree National Park Council for the Arts, has been meeting since May to plan the celebration of the night sky over Twentynine Palms.

“Working through a pretty large amount of details,” Ann Congdon said.

“I think it’s going to be great,” Congdon said. “We will have at least 30 telescopes and astronomers.”

Saturday evening at the observatory will also see two performances by the musical duo Katrina Carlson and Jefferson Denim, who have written a song called “Stargazing.”

The evening will also see Native American Storyteller Leroy Howell discussing legends from his culture and history.

There will also be a group of six Native American flute players who will circulate among telescope users to provide a musical backdrop to the tour of the sky.

Rangers from Joshua Tree National Park will use laser pointers to conduct constellation tours.

Free events during the day at the observatory will include tours of Sky’s the Limit solar system model, nature trail tours and nature walks along with views through a solar telescope and crafts.

In town, during the day, the community services building will be the place where people who have purchased tickets for the evening program can register and sign in.

There will also be tables for cultural and environmental grounds in the Morongo Basin to hand out information about their services and events  and a photo booth.

Across Joe Davis Drive, Patriotic Hall will host a series of lectures by astronomers. Ashley Pipkin will speak on Night Skies and the National Park Service at 2 p.m. Keri Bean will discuss past, present and future explorations of Mars at 3. Dean Regas will take participants on a tour of the universe at 4.

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