"I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night"

-Sarah Williams

Participating Groups & Entities

"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

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 was drafted to help ANSA advocate for Responsible Lighting and preservation of our state's remaining natural sky resources, but right now, I am here to help you learn about and enjoy this festival.

I am a nocturnal expert, but most modern humans have lost their connection to nature at night. I bet you have never been to a Dark-Sky event, and when was the last time you laid under the Milky Way and counted shooting stars?

When have you looked upon a distant galaxy, through a real telescope, 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 is as beautiful at night as it is in the day with its nearly natural night skies.

Below you will find links to some helpful resources.  My festival guide will provide detailed information on the festival activities and times.  The Scavenger Hunt is an optional challenge event, and the Binocular Advice is what it sounds like.

I should also note that there is more important information in the Festival Store in the next section about the use of lighting at the festival.  If you have more questions, email me, [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. These links are offered solely to make your festival planning easier. Where you stay can be half the adventure, so be open to new possibilities. . (Volunteers should sign up before reserving a plate to stay as there may be special options available.)


    Notice! This Store is Closed. Come to Silver Hill Float  Service next to the park entrance to buy!

    The festival is free, but there are a few things you might find useful, such as a red or amber flashlight as white light will be prohibited on the observing field. The keychain flashlight below is a ready answer for only $7.50 with a handy ANSA neck lanyard. Use the Basic Approach to purchase for pick up at the event along with a free copy of October's SkyMap.  Two or more people can share, but price drops the more you buy. Supplies are limited so order early. Add a copy of ANSA's Learn the Constellation guide and you will really be set.

    Use the Membership Approach below and we will mail it. 

    Red-light Keychain Flashlight

    The Basic Approach

    Select the items you want below and pick them up at the event, or you can add the $2.50 shipping charge and we will mail your order to you now (ANSA members ship free - just add note to the order requesting it be shipped).
    Shipping - only one shipping fee no matter what you order. Add the shipping to your cart here first so you don't forget. 
    These redlight keychain flashlights produce 12 lumens of light. Plenty for dark-adapted eyes to read a chart or follow a path. The battery can be replaced, so useful to have even if you are not under the milky way, and with the ANSA lanyard easy to find.
    Red Light W/Lanyard
    Learn the Constellations
    Written by ANSA's own Rocky Togni, an Astronomical League Master Observer, this booklet makes it easy to learn the constellations with its uncluttered charts depicting key seasonal asterisms that aid memory along with associated bright stars and deepsky objects.
    Okay, no one needs a glow-in-the-dark constellation bandana, but for $10 some might like to have one anyway.
    American-made (Rainbow Symphony) CAAS/ANSA eclipse glasses for the 2023 & 2024 eclipses. Only currently available for in-person purchase at the Festival. No shipping at this time.

    Membership Approach

    Support ANSA by becoming a member and we will ship your membership package to you for free.


    Members can join our member's group on our mobilize.io platform where they can meet and correspond with other members, receive special updates on ANSA activities, and participate in the annual membership meeting. Members receive a decal and literature and have priority notice of ANSA events.  But, most importantly members have the satisfaction of supporting ANSA's efforts.

    Please subscribe to our member's email list, to assure getting membership news and consider joining our community of volunteers to find out how else you can become involved.



    Advocate members also receive up to two custom ANSA neck lanyards and redlight key chain flashlights (just specify two in the note to merchant).  Perfect for lighting your way while preserving your night vision.

    Please subscribe to our member's email list, to assure getting membership news and consider joining our community of volunteers to find out how else you can become involved.



    For those willing to make a larger contribution you'll receive your choice of a copy of ANSA's Learn the Constellations booklet or the glow-in-the-dark constellation bandana and up to two membership decals and light/lanyard sets (just specify two in the note to merchant).

    Please subscribe to our member's email list, to assure getting membership news and consider joining our community of volunteers to find out how else you can become involved.

    Select your joining gift

    Get the T-Shirt! Just click T-Spring logo

    "I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars."
    -Augustine 'Og' Mandino
    "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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