Mackinaw City Activities
Picnic Under The Stars
Picnic Under The Stars at the Headlands planned for July 19
Once upon a time, every star had a name, and in every name was a story ... So begins a magical night of storytelling under the stars with Mary Stewart Adams, Program Director for Emmet County's Headlands International Dark Sky Park, two miles west of Mackinaw City on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Families, visitors and residents of all ages are invited to pack up their picnic baskets and bring comfortable blankets or chairs for an evening of story-telling about the night sky as it unfolds above a bonfire on the Straits of Mackinac. This "Picnic Under The Stars" takes place from 9:15 to 10:45 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Sunset is at 9:22 p.m., so arrive in time to find a spot before the setting sun. Because this is New Moon, starlight will shine uninhibited by the moon's glow.
For several years prior to directing programs for Emmet County's International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, Adams published the wall calendar "Fairy Tale Moons," with the intent to safeguard the stories of the night sky that were being swallowed up by light pollution and advancing technology.
"There's a thrilling and restorative effect on us when we're exposed to the beauty and majesty of the night sky, and there's no telescope required for such encounters," Adams said. "At the Headlands we've been able to protect a naturally dark wilderness, which is an ideal setting for the cultural tales of ages, most of which are rooted in humanity's beliefs about its place in the universe."
Adams said that human beings are capable of seeing about 10,000 objects in the night sky, but with the power of modern technology, it is now possible to identify upward of 900 million objects. "Our ability to discover new objects has far out-paced our ability to know and understand what we're seeing, and it's in this gap between discovery and knowing what we've found that good stories take root and lead us into new worlds," Adams said.
The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. The program will take place on the grounds of the Beach House rain or shine. Adams will have posters from her Fairy Tale Moons calendars available for sale, as well as memorabilia from the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.
The Headlands became the 6th International Dark Sky Park in the U.S. and the 9th in the world in May 2011, and each month free programs are held for the public. Visit www.emmetcounty.org for 2012 programs and more information, email email@example.com, or call (231) 348-1704.
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