If it isn't Broke, Don't Fix it: Wildwood Historic Center
Many museums hold the same event annually, however over time it is far too easy to bring back the same presenters and activities. While this makes it easier to set up the event, eventually the museum begins to lose its repeat visitors as a “it is the same event as last year” mentality sets in making it easier to find excuses not to attend. An exception to this is the Wildwood’s annual Star Party; the reason being is that while many of the amateur astronomers who will be setting up their telescopes are the same from previous years, the night sky always changes.
This year the event will be held Saturday, September 23, beginning at 8:00 p.m. While traditionally the event is held earlier in the month, holding it later will offer a variety of constellations not viewed by visitors in the past. Inspired by Mrs. Jasper (Ella) Ware’s love of astronomy, in addition to the modern telescopes that will be set up, her Antique Yeats & Sons 1850's telescope made in Ireland will be on display and visitors may look through it at the moon. The Wildwood House was originally owned by the Jasper A. Ware family, he being a banker in the community. Ella became interested in astronomy on her trip to Utah when her Father's horse drawn conveyance followed ox teams for safety; one of the drivers pointed out the stars to her. Mentioned in her memoirs from that journey, Arcturus may be viewable during the event.
Held on the Wildwood Golf Course just south of the Wildwood Historic Center parking lot, the staff is asking visitors to please turn off their car lights before entering parking lot as the lights blind the people near the telescopes and makes viewing difficult. Set up is at 8:00 to allow for some daylight. This is a free event, open to the public, and will last until all guests are gone. Presenting itself as a great family event, even in its fifth year, it will not be just the same old event. This means if you attended last year, your experience this year will be completely different this time around.