Location and Parking
Starlight Festival Parking and Traffic Information
Starlight Festival 2018 will be held at the historic Yerkes Observatory, 373 West Geneva Street, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, on the shores of beautiful Geneva Lake, Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27, 2018. The Observatory’s nearly 80 park-like acres in a tranquil setting are the perfect location for you family visit to our STEM event on Memorial Day weekend.
For visitors driving to the Festival, Yerkes is approximately two hours from the Chicago metropolitan area, one hour from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin metropolitan area, and about 90 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin. The Observatory is seven miles west of the city of Lake Geneva on the west side of the Village of Williams Bay. West Geneva Street in the Village is also State Highway 67.
The Festival offers two options for parking:
FREE parking with FREE shuttle service is available from 9:15 am to 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday at the Williams Bay High School lot, 500 West Geneva Street (State Hwy 67), Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The high school features over 400 parking spaces in three lots surrounding the building on the west, south and east sides. Follow signs throughout the Village to the free parking location.
Visitors should assemble in front of the south entrance to the school. Parking assistants will be available most hours of the Festival to direct visitors. There will be one pick-up and drop-off point, clearly marked, near the front (south) entrance to the school, facing Geneva Street. Shuttles will operate continuously, as needed, about every 10 to 15 minutes each day. The distance from the school to the Festival site on the Observatory grounds is about one mile. Walking is not advised due to expected heavy traffic on Hwy 67 and the lack of sidewalks for a large portion of the distance between the two locations.
Paid parking on the Yerkes grounds is available for $20 (cash only) per car or light truck. RVs or very large vehicles cannot be parked at Yerkes. The entrance is at the intersection of West Geneva Street and Observatory Place. The maroon, white and gold sign for Yerkes Observatory is at the entrance. Turn onto Observatory Place and proceed due south. Parking assistants near the Observatory’s ellipse -- where most Festival activities will be taking place -- will greet visitors, collect the parking fee, and provide directions and help to a parking spot.
Two paid lots will be available for a total capacity of 400 cars and light trucks. The first paid lot is closest to the Festival and will be filled first. The exit for that lot is Parkhurst Place, just east of the parking area, which will take visitors back to West Geneva Street. Directional signs will clearly indicate the exit. The second lot is north of the Festival area, at West Geneva Street where it meets Observatory Place. The exit for that lot is at the northeast end, next to a white house, directly onto West Geneva Street.
Please drive safely in the Village Memorial Day weekend. Observe the speed limit of 30 mph posted in most areas, especially in both directions of Geneva Street. Williams Bay Police will be enforcing speed limits with radar!
Road Closure Alert, State Highway 67 at Interstate Highway 43, Use Alternate Route
Starlight Festival visitors who are traveling to Williams Bay, Wisconsin on either northbound or southbound Interstate Highway 43 in Walworth County should be advised that State Highway 67, from Interstate Highway 43 south to State Highway 50, is closed for construction until late 2018. Travelling Highway 67 south is the traditional way to reach Williams Bay from Interstate 43 either north or southbound.
The best and fastest alternate route is Exit #21 at I-43 / Hwy 50 in Delavan, Wisconsin. Exit I-43 at Hwy 50 and travel east on Hwy 50 through East Delavan, past Lake Lawn Resort (on the right) to Walworth County F, about three miles. Watch carefully and turn right on F (just past Delavan Lake) and travel south to Hwy 67. Turn left onto Hwy 67 (West Geneva Street) toward Williams Bay and travel about one mile. Free parking and the free shuttle are on the left at the Williams Bay High School. Yerkes Observatory and paid parking are on the right, about one mile farther south from the High School, at Observatory Place.
Shuttles from Free Parking Areas begin running at 9:15 a.m. and run until 9:45 p.m. each day. See the parking graphic below this map.