2023 - Dark-Sky Nature at Night Festival

The 2023 Natural Sky Festival and this page are under construction.  The event will occur September 14th - 16, on Bear Creek south of the Buffalo river national park - three nights and two days.  This page and the event guide (see link below) are a work in progress.  The registration process has not yet been set up.  Please use the "Sign-up for Event News" link below to get updates.  Participating groups, scout troops, and volunteers should go ahead and sign up using the button links below.   Thanks

Participant Entities (2022)

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
-Vincent Van Gogh
"And oft, before tempestuous winds arise, / The seeming stars fall headlong from the skies, /And, shooting through the darkness, gild the night / With sweeping glories and long trains of light."

Activities and Events (subject to change)

Observing Activities
Learning Activities
Playing Activities
  • Celestial Art Class

    Learn to draw celestial scenes Link to sign up to be added soon.

  • Observing Basics

    Learn the fundamentals of Sky watching - naked eye and with binoculars

  • Observing the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

    A total cclipse is coming to Arkansas in 2024. Get ready for this once in a life time event.

  • Birds, wildlife and much more.

    Learn about birds and wildlife and how they depend upon the night.

  • Lighting Your Home Responsibly

    Learn how and why to light your home responsibly

  • Globe at Night Citizen Scientist

    Learn how to measure and report your sky's light pollution level and record it as a citizen scientist

  • A Pocket Solar System

    Learn about the scale of the solar system and put it in your pocket

  • Nightscape Photography Contest

    View and vote on Arkansas night scape photographs Link to enter to be added soon.

  • Children's Celestial Art Contest

    Try your hand a rendering a sketch of a celestial object and vote on which you think are the best.

  • Giant Bubble Blowing

    Who can make the biggest bubble or send theirs the farthest.

  • Hands on Science Projects, Solar Marshmellows and More

    Explore various hands own science projects and cook marshmallows with sun light.

And much more: door prizes, stomp rockets, giant bubble blowing...

Meet Stella the night wise owl!

I am Stella the Night-Wise Owl. I help ANSA advocate for Responsible Lighting and preserving our state's remaining natural sky resources. But right now, I am here to help you learn about and enjoy this festival.

When was the last time you lay under the Milky Way and wandered among its countless stars? When have you seen a distant galaxy whose light has been traveling for millions of years to make you a witness to its existence? When have you seen the ghostly remnants of a dying star or the soft glow of a stellar nursery birthing new ones? Half of nature is at night, and the Buffalo River region is as beautiful at night as in the day.  With its nearly natural night skies, you can do all of the above.

So, let's get going.  My festival guide below will provide detailed information on the festival activities and times.  The Scavenger Hunt is an optional challenge event. Still more information is provided in the Registration process.  Indeed, the whole festival is a learning process.

Oh, I was about to forget, the festival is free. If you have other questions, email me at [email protected]

"Time under the stars melds mind and soul, stirring one healing the other."
-Stella, the Night-Wise Owl (as all owls are you know)
Drawing upon the International Dark-Sky Association's Capture the Night photo contest, Dark-Sky festival participants will have the opportunity to vote on winners in seven different categories of Arkansas night sky images.
    "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."
    -Carl Sagan

    Places to Stay, Eat, and Visit

    The services feature below are not part of the event, and the organizers take no responsibility for the services provided. The light blue text links to the items listed below to make your trip planning easier. Where you stay can be half the adventure, so be open to new possibilities. (Note, volunteers should sign up before reserving a place to stay as special options are available.)


    While the festival is free, Registration is required so that we can plan the event.  Yes, you will be able to just drop in, but you will have to register on-site if you do.  Our volunteers and planners would much prefer that you tell us you are coming and also, you will learn more about the event and how to prepare in the registration process.

    Please sign up for the event news, and we will let you know when the registration process is up and running.  Thanks.

    Stella the Night Wise Owl
    "Scales - Gazing upon winter's lofty keep. Earth, sky, moon, stars, boundless deep. A vista of scales diverse lowly earth, universe. Hand outstretched, fingers wide myriad galaxies hide. Stardust caressing silent trees. Moon plays peek-a-boo in darkling clouds on silent breeze. Stars; shimmering beacons in frigid air. Dancing in vault of night most fair. Earth touches sky; sky embraces earth. Mundane frames fantastic in spiritual birth."
    -John Reed
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