WKU's Hardin Planetarium to celebrate 50th anniversary of first moon landing on July 20

A free outdoor festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing will be hosted at WKU’s Hardin Planetarium from 1 to 10 p.m. July 20. The event features dozens of interactive exhibits, challenges and activities for all ages.

“This festival is going to be out of this world,” said Richard Gelderman, Director of Hardin Planetarium.

The festival will take place rain or shine, with the outdoor events mostly located in covered areas. “People will walk around the planetarium and adjacent science buildings, going at their own pace to explore all of the wide variety of opportunities,” Gelderman said.

Planetarium Coordinator Ronn Kistler added that the Moon Landing Celebration will give someone an opportunity to “talk with experts about the Moon, what it took to send humans across a quarter of a million miles of empty space to our nearest celestial neighbor, and why the moon landing was so important.”

“The festival has so many events,” Kistler said, “rocket launches, movie screenings and discussions, trivia contest, food trucks, and the chance to walk the path of the first astronauts on the Moon.”

Encouraging people of all ages to attend the festival, Gelderman urges everyone to “discover how empty is outer space, explore the different types of telescopes, learn how the Moon formed, and safely view our Sun.”

“This is a very important anniversary,” Gelderman said. “There are two groups of people that should care about humanity’s first steps on the Moon – those, like me, who remember the actual event, and everyone else -- because we will all be part of a future that will eventually live on other worlds.”

Schedule of events for Moon Landing Celebration:

1-7 p.m.: Continuous screenings of Apollo themed movies

1:30 and 4:15 p.m.: Max Goes to the Moon planetarium show

2:30-5 p.m.: Hands-On Activity Festival, featuring dozens of games, challenges, exhibits & food trucks for the whole family to enjoy one-on-one interactions about space, lunar exploration, research and missions

2:45 and 3:30 p.m.: Theatrical excerpt from Footsteps to the Moon

5-5:45 p.m.: Rocket Launching Challenge & Demonstrations

5:45-7 p.m.: Moon Landing Trivia Contest

7 p.m.: Footsteps to the Moon, a Fountain Square Players presentation

8:15 p.m.: Fly Me to the Moon, a play by Andrea Brunello

Everyone is invited to this celebration, with free parking and admission. Hardin Planetarium is located at 1501 State St. For information, visit the event webpage at www.wku.edu/planetarium or call Hardin Planetarium at (270) 745-4044.

Next Planetarium show: First Steps on the Moon, a show celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, will be presented July 7 through Aug. 22 at the Hardin Planetarium. Show times are 2 p.m. Sundays, 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 7 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is free.

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