April 8-24, 2016

North Carolina Statewide Star Party

*The application period for being a 2016 Statewide Star Party host has closed.  Please contact starparty@unc.edu with any questions.

The Statewide Star Party will be held April 8 and April 9, 2016. This year’s theme is Find Your Way in the Sky.

Requirements to be a Star Party host:

  • Your event must have the support of your organization’s administration.
  • Your event must be scheduled for one of the official 2016 Star Party dates: Friday, April 8, 2016, or Saturday, April 9, 2016.  A rain date, or an indoor rain plan, is encouraged but not mandatory.
  • Your event must be open to the public. Free events are encouraged, but not mandatory.
  • Your event includes a significant skywatching component involving the real sky. No planetarium-only events, except in case of rain. Events may take place during the daytime (with solar observing) or at night.
  • Your organization supplies the venue and staffing, including astronomers. (The Star Party Coordinators can help you identify local amateur astronomers to partner with.)
  • You commit to trying out in advance the educational activities in the Star Party kit, which will be supplied by the Star Party Coordinators, and to using 3 or more activities (out of at least six) at your event.
  • You commit to recruiting and training staff and volunteers to work at your event, including how to lead kit activities.
  • You agree to pass along communications from the Star Party Coordinators to everyone working the event.
  • You agree to send your attendance data after your event.

 The North Carolina Science Festival and Statewide Star Party will:

  • Provide hosts with a free Star Party kit with educational activities to engage visitors on the theme of “Find Your Way in the Sky.”
  • Provide training on kit activities via a webinar as well as an invitation to in-person training.
  • Promote events on the Festival website as part of the Festival’s online calendar
  • Provide hosts with North Carolina Science Festival branding tools, such as event signage, advertising templates and the North Carolina Science Festival logo for use with print and electronic marketing efforts.
  • Create a unique URL for hosts to use to promote the event within their community.

You can apply to be a Star Party event host from November 9 through December 7, 2015. We will be in touch with all applicants by December 15, 2015.



This 21-second time-lapse video shows an example of an entire event, start to finish. (Credit: Joe Pedit, used with permission)

Wondering what materials and activities you will receive as an official Star Party host? Here are last year’s kit materials:

2015 Star Party kit materials for event hosts