The Star Party on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, and continues through 11 p.m. A free “Shuttle to the Stars” departing from Mount Desert Island High School will be offered to carry people to the summit. Participants are invited to drop in at any time during the program to visit with more than 50 volunteer astronomers who will describe constellations and other night sky features visible with the naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes. Participants are free to stroll the summit and spend as much time as they like at the star party. The best star viewing time will be after 9 p.m.
The road going up to Cadillac Mountain will be closed to all traffic (except those that need parking for persons with disabilities) at 6:45 pm so visitors must use the shuttle to attend the event. Starting at 7:30 pm, the shuttle will run continuously between Mount Desert Island High School (1081 Eagle Lake Road/Route 233, Bar Harbor) and Cadillac Mountain. The line for boarding the shuttle will form in the high school gym, and restrooms will be available. The last shuttle will depart Mount Desert Island High School at 9:30 pm, and the last shuttle will depart Cadillac Mountain at 11:15 pm. Shuttle riders should plan on approximately 20 minutes to travel to summit or back to high school. The Mount Desert Island Regional School System, Cyr Bus Line, Inc., and Oli’s Trolley have generously donated transportation services to make the free shuttle possible.
Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and minimize flashlight use to preserve night vision. If available, visitors should use a red night vision flashlight or cover a standard flashlight with red cellophane. The Summit Center gift shop and restrooms at the top of Cadillac Mountain will be open during the event. Please note that pets and folding chairs are not allowed. Call 207-288-5103 to find out if this event has been cancelled due to weather.
The Star Party on Cadillac Mountain is a highlight of the 9th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, which will take place in Acadia National Park and the surrounding communities on Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula from September 21 to 24. The Acadia Night Sky Festival is a community celebration to promote the protection and enjoyment of Downeast Maine’s stellar night sky as a valuable natural resource through education, science and the arts. The festival will feature 40 events, including workshops, lectures, films, boat cruises, arts and crafts, and, of course, stargazing.
For a complete schedule and description of activities, please visit www.acadianightskyfestival.org.