Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is celebrating its 49th anniversary on October 21, with the final Star Party of 2019.

On Monday, October 21, from 8–10 p.m., join park rangers and astronomers from the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) at the Dune Climb parking lot to celebrate the National Lakeshore with a Birthday Star Party!

The dark sky in the park provides an excellent opportunity to observe deep space objects, such as the Milky Way. Feel free to hike up the dunes during this event to conduct your own personal skywalk. This will be a great occasion to observe the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster.

Drop-in telescope and information stations will be available for you to visit at your leisure. Be sure to stop by the ranger greeter table in the parking lot at the Dune Climb for more information about the stations and their locations.

At the Dune Climb, please park in the row furthest from the dunes with your headlights facing M-109. Volunteers will be assisting with parking.

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The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. All sky programs offered by the National Lakeshore are free. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass displayed in their vehicle to join in the fun. Programs will be cancelled if the sky is not visible due to weather conditions. The decision to cancel is usually made two hours in advance. Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision.

For all evening astronomy events, bring a flashlight for the walk back to your car and bug spray, if needed. You are welcome to bring your own binoculars, beach chairs and blankets for a more comfortable experience, and water is always recommended for National Park Service programs. Park rangers and GTAS staff will wear red glow pins or bracelets at the event.

Starry night skies and natural darkness are important components of the special places the NPS protects. National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide an excellent opportunity to experience this endangered resource.