About Starlight Festival


The University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory - "The Birthplace of Modern Astrophysics", Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the Astronomy Outreach Network and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism joined forces to bring astronomy, science and technology to students, young adults, families and the "scientifically curious" on Memorial Day weekend, May 26 - 27, 2018, to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of the birth of George Ellery Hale, the builder of the four largest telescopes in the world between 1897 and 1949, and the "Father of Modern Astrophysics." Starlight Festival 2018 will be a fitting tribute to Hale's lifetime of scientific and educational achievements.

The facilities of the famous Yerkes Observatory, home of the 40-inch "Great Refractor", the worlds' largest lens-type telescope located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin on the shores Geneva Lake, will be filled with hands-on experiences in astronomy, science and technology during the two-day outdoor festival. Geneva Lake is a prime Wisconsin vacation and resort destination for Midwesterners located just two hours or less by car from all parts of the Chicagoland area, and one hour from Milwaukee and Madison.

Manufacturers and retailers will demonstrate and sell the latest in astronomy and science education related gear during Starlight Festival 2018. Yerkes Observatory Staff will offer tours of the beautiful, unique and historic building, once the center of worldwide astronomical study and research. Scientists, astronomers and experts will present hour-long programs under a large tent throughout the weekend. Science exhibits, demonstrations and surprises - including rocket launches by W.O.O.S.H.(Wisconsin Organization of Spacemodeling Hobbyists), hot air balloon demonstrations with The Lake Geneva Balloon Company, student-built drones will fly with YEO Drones  - will amaze, entertain and educate people of all ages and backgrounds each day!