Seminole State Planetarium ‘Star Party' offers reprieve from Irma

Saturday event free, open to all ages

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Emilee Speck/WKMG

Michael McConville, planetarium coordinator, places a solar filter on a telescope. The Emil Buehler Planetarium is hosting one of the largest solar eclipse gatherings on Aug. 21, 2017.

SANFORD, Fla. - Florida could use a break from Hurricane Irma cleanup.

Enter the family-friendly Central Florida Star Party this Saturday to take your mind off the endless piles of debris and wondering why your neighborhood smells like a sewer.

The Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College and the Central Florida Astronomical Society are jointly hosting the star party with telescope viewing opportunities, food trucks and out-of-this-world presentations.

The party kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. as the sun begins to set and runs until 10 p.m. The event is happening in the faculty and staff parking lot adjacent to buildings B and D. The whole event is kid-friendly and free to anyone.

“We know people are eager to get out and do something fun after a week or more without power and cleanup,” planetarium director Derek Demeter said. “We wanted to host something fun that the whole family can enjoy.” 

Anyone still without power will be able to plug in and charge up, charging stations will be available at the event.

Telescopes will be set up outside offering people a chance to get beautiful views of Jupiter, Saturn and a waxing crescent moon. Central Florida Astronomical Society volunteers will be there to assist with any questions and help people use the powerful scopes.

Presentations throughout the night will happen inside the planetarium dome including “Your Universe in 15 Minutes” and WMFE’s space reporter Brendan Byrne will discuss the important developments on going to the bathroom in space, during his talk "Per Latrina Ad Astra: To the Stars Through the Toilet." 

Guests should get there early for presentations, seating inside the dome is limited to 65 people per show.

The Treehouse Truck and Three Girls Bakery are the first food vendors announced and event planners say there could be more added before the weekend.

Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs for maximum outside viewing comfort.

As another scientific treat this weekend for Central Florida, the Orlando Science Center is discounting tickets for one day only. On Sunday, Sept. 24 tickets for adults will be only $10, normally $20.95.

The Science Center in Lock Haven Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a break Central Florida, put down the garbage bags and look up.

Know before you go:

Central Florida Star Party

Address: 100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, Florida 32773
Here is a map of the event space and parking.

Time: 6-10 p.m. (Sunset is 7:20 p.m.)

Cost: Free!

Who is invited: Everyone. The event is open to all ages

RSVP on Facebook here.

Orlando Science Center

Address: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803

Hours: 10 a.m. -5 p.m.

Cost: $10 per person

Purchase tickets at


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