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Expect beautiful fall colors, cooler weather and lots of astronomy fun for the astronomical convention/star party that is the 35th Annual StarFest. Hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club (BMAC) and the staff of Bays Mountain Park, StarFest is three days and two nights of astronomical heaven situated in the heart of the Appalachians!

StarFest is being held on October 12th – 14th, and the theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating 200 Years of American Women in Astronomy.” Noted American astronomer, Maria Mitchell was born 200 years ago this year, 2018. Our celebration though, has more to do with women in astronomy today. What better way to celebrate 200 years of women in astronomy than by having all of our keynote speakers be women in astronomy!

This year includes four distinctive keynote speakers, five great meals, door prizes, the ever popular swap shop, solar viewing, night-time observing (both private on Friday and with the public on Saturday, so bring your favorite scope) and the exceptional planetarium will be open.

In addition to all of the StarFest activities, there are public programs and activities available at the park, such as the wildlife exhibits, planetarium shows, barge rides and plenty of trails to explore.

A unique facet of StarFest is a commemorative T-shirt with one-of-a-kind artwork that is included with each registration. Cassy Rose, from the Park’s exhibits staff, has created a special design to represent this year’s theme.

The StarFest ticket price of $155/person includes everything: access to all speakers, all activities, five meals, free access to the Park’s public programming, the opportunity to sleep/camp on Park grounds at no additional cost and a unique, commemorative T-shirt with custom artwork. For a detailed schedule of events, visit

To register for the event, please complete the registration sheet for each person and mail or e-mail it to If you use a credit card, you can write it on the sheet or call Adam at 423-224-2532 to process it. Registration sheets can be found at Attendance will be limited and registration must be received prior to the deadline, September 21, 2018. To be fair to our registered delegates, there are no walk-ins nor “visits.”

For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, please visit or call 423-229-9447.