Hickory – BoBfest: Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers returns to Catawba Science Center on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. Doors will open from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. BoBfest is free and open to the public. The event will feature presentations, astrophotography displays, and door prizes. Vendors, exhibitors, and information about local events and facilities will be available, as well as the chance to engage with amateur and professional astronomers from the region.

Hickory Public Library and Catawba Science Center staff will be heading up family activities such as crafts and experiments related to astronomy. Attendees ranging from professional astronomers to those who simply have an interest in astronomy are welcome. Anyone looking into astronomy as a hobby is urged to come and ask questions of the more experienced astronomers.


The key note speakers at this year’s event will be Johnny Horne, Astrophotographer and Astrojournalist, speaking on Tales from Past Eclipses, and Charlie Warren, Managing Editor at Amateur Astronomy Magazine, speaking on the Importance of Amateur Astronomy. Author and photographer, Mark Marquette will also be presenting Starry Night Live. There will also be afternoon forums with different speakers covering a range of topics from astrophotography, to comets, and how to get started in astronomy. In addition to the key note speakers and various afternoon forums on astronomy topics, there will be solar observing available.

Tickets will be sold for a wide variety of door prizes for only $1 per ticket. Door prizes range from astronomy materials and merchandise, to telescopes, items from local businesses, and more! Since the event is free to the public, the money from the door prize donations will help fund the event and any interested vendors or door prize donors may contact bobfestastro@gmail.com. While BoBfest is free to everyone, participants are encouraged to pre-register online at www.catawbasky.org/bobfest. Pre-registrants will receive a free registration packet at the event.

For a more detailed schedule of the events, visit www.catawbasky.org/bobfest. Groucho’s Deli will have staff on hand till 10:00 am to take lunch orders from those who wish to purchase lunch and have it delivered. Special planetarium features, including children’s shows, star talks, and laser shows will be shown throughout the day every 45 minutes in the Millholland Planetarium. The Lucile Miller Observatory at Maiden Middle School in nearby Maiden, NC will be open for observing at 7:00 p.m. with members of the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club. BoBfest is presented by the Cleveland County Astronomical Society, Catawba Science Center, Hickory Public Library, and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at www.catawbascience.org. CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County. CSC is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory 28601.