Heritage Starfest
Circa 2011 -2012


The mission of Heritage Starfest is to foster enjoyment and preservation of the dark skies of the Colorado Plateau as an important part of our natural and cultural heritage.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2011- 2012 archived pages.

Heritage Starfest
P.O. Box 206
Teasdale, Utah 84773

Beginning in 2012, the Entrada Institute is able to provide special funding for festival speakers as part of its Saturday Sunset Series programming. Like the mission of the Heritage Starfest, the goal of the Entrada Institute is to promote understanding and appreciation of the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the Colorado Plateau.

In the past, local speakers such as Kate Magargal have volunteered their time to share their expertise in our programs. In the future, we hope to expand this programming to include regional and national speakers focusing on topics related to fostering enjoyment and preservation of our dark skies.

Heritage Starfest 2012

This week’s Saturday Sunset Series events will be held in conjunction with the Heritage Starfest.

The Entrada Institute welcomes speakers and special events at the Heritage Starfest Friday October 12 and Saturday October 13 in Bicknell, Utah!
The weekend event will include a 5K run/walk/bike, family activities, night sky viewing with telescopes, constellation tours, campfire stories, and free food.
Saturday evening’s program will include a meeting of the Colorado chapter of the International Dark Sky Association and a speaker from the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
The event is sponsored by the Entrada Institute!

The Entrada Institute was a proud sponsor of the Heritage Starfest.

On Friday October 12, over 75 people enjoyed a great evening of fun, food, and fitness while learning about the night sky at the Heritage Starfest.
Saturday events included a movie at 2:30 at the Wayne Theatre titled SEEING IN THE DARK.
Activities at the Wayne County Community Center included free food, astronomy activities, a portable planetarium show, speakers, campfire storytelling with smores, and telescope viewing.



Related: In 2012 we rented a home in south-central Utah in Torrey for a month so we could explore the Capitol Reef National Park. We went in the fall so the crowd would be less. The park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic a wrinkle on the earth known as a monocline that extends almost 100 miles. We did not know about Heritage Starfest until the owner mentioned it. My husband is an astronomy buff. We have traveled to the observatories at Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island offer some of the most pristine star-gazing conditions in the world, been to the massive radio telescope facility located 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico, visited the Home of the prime meridian, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England, well you get the point. We had chosen Capitol Reef National Park for this celebratory vacation trip because the star gazing is suppose to be excellent. My husband has had a drinking problem ever since we lost one of our children to cancer. He totally disagrees with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) definition of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) as a “chronic relapsing brain disease”. And he refuses any 12 step program that requires abstinence. Instead he and I have done extensive research into alcohol self help approaches where the person is not treated as if they have a disease, but rather as a person who is dealing with larger psychological issues that result in excessive drinking. Fortunately we learned about baclofen and found a program that uses both pharmacotherapy(baclofen) and psychotherapy. Anyway, Baclofen removes or strongly suppresses cravings for alcohol in 92% of people. Initial clinical trials show that Baclofen has a 65% success rate for treatment-resistant alcoholics , allowing them to return to low- or medium-risk drinking. My husband has been on the program offered at LifeBac for a year now and he has been very successful in bringing his drinking down to a glass of wine at dinner. Baclofen has removed his craving to drink and the psychotherapy has helped tremendously dealing with our child's death. So we celebrated with this trip to Utah. The Heritage Starfest was an added plus. The house we rented in Torrey offered wonderful night stars. The owners also had eclectic tastes in their furnishings. They had several Italian dining tables that were stunning in their very modern design that somehow worked perfectly with the rest of the more rustic furnishings. I asked the owner about the tables and found out she had bought them when she lived in Philadelphia before her marriage. The store, room service 360, has a great online site, she said. So I checked out the site and decided to visit the actual Philly showroom when we returned to Washington DC. Our trip to southern Utah was a big success. We have fond memories and lots of pictures of the Capitol Reef National Park. I also have a new dining room table and chairs, thanks to the owner's referral to room sevice 360. And do check out the Heritage Starfest if you are in the Utah area during the fall.



We’ve created a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you in learning more about the Heritage Starfest.

Where did the idea for the festival originate?

While speaking at an Entrada Institute event in Torrey, Kate Magargal shared her concerns about preserving the dark skies of Southern Utah. She organized a group to discuss what could be done to reduce light pollution and increase awareness of the importance of dark skies. One idea was to hold a star party to encourage the public to enjoy the beautiful night skies. It was hoped that this awareness would increase interest in saving the dark skies of the Colorado Plateau.

Why is it called the Heritage Starfest?

The planning committee was looking for a name that would reflect the long history of dark skies on the Colorado Plateau. Kate Magargal came up with the word “heritage”. Rather than calling the event a Star Party, we wanted to focus on an entire festival of events. We ended up with Heritage Starfest.

How long as the Heritage Starfest been around?

The first annual Starfest was held in 2010. Events were held in Loa, Lyman, and Bicknell during the first year. For the second event, all events were moved to the Wayne County Community Center in Bicknell, Utah.

The Third Annual Heritage Starfest will be held Friday October 12, and Saturday October 13, 2012.
Put these dates on your calendar and head to Wayne County


The Heritage Starfest includes a wide range of activities for individual and families.

Explore each of the following areas to learn more:

  • Annual IDA-CP Chapter Program
  • Campfire Storytelling
  • Dark Sky Fun Run/Walk/Bike
  • Dark Sky Movie Matinee
  • Constellation Tours
    Both novice and experienced sky watchers enjoy the constellation tours provided by our volunteers.
    During the day, our volunteers preview the upcoming attractions.
    As the sun sets, the tours begin to explore the beauty of our night sky.


  • Exhibits
  • Family 4-H Activities
  • Family Air and Space Activities
  • Family-Friendly Films
  • Free Food
  • Local Attractions
  • Parades
  • Raffle
  • Speakers
  • Stargazing



Schedule for 2012

Friday October 12, 2012

6:30-8:00PM – 4H Family Astronomy, StarLab, exhibits, free food

8:00PM - Dark Sky Fun Run/Walk/Bike 5k; Campfire

8:30-midnight - Stargazing with Volunteer Telescopes, Constellation Tours, and Night Sky Viewing

Saturday October 13, 2012

2:30-4:00PM – Screening of “Seeing in the Dark,” Wayne Theatre on Highway 24 in Bicknell

4:00-6:00PM - Family Air and Space Activities and Vendors, StarLab, exhibits, kids movie

6:00-9:00PM – Free Food, Drink, and Smore Kits

6:00-8:00PM – Annual IDA Colorado Plateau Chapter Program – Lighting Demonstration, talk by Mt. Wilson Observatory Telescope Operator, James Mahon.

8:00-10:00PM – Campfire Storytelling and Raffle

8:30-midnight - Stargazing with Volunteer Telescopes



Annual IDA-Colorado Plateau Chapter Program

In conjunction with the Heritage Starfest, the International Dark-Sky Association Colorado Plateau Chapter and Entrada Institute sponsor a Saturday evening program.

This program features speakers focusing on the natural and cultural heritage of our dark skies and how they can be preserved for future generations.

In 2011, Kate Magargal presented a program called Dark Skies of the Colorado Plateau.



2011- 2012 Blog Posts