As can be seen by the photo to the left (taken by Steve Andrews at the fall 2013 event) Staunton River State Park near Scottsburg, Virginia has wonderful dark skies and is a great place to hold a star party. And the residents in the surrounding area agree! South Boston, the town of Halifax, and the entire Halifax County are now working to preserve the night skies with lighting ordinances and other changes. This is all started with the star party, and has grown thanks to your support! We appreciate it! Keep it up!
This year the fall star party is from October 20th to October 26th (a full week). Registration for the fall star party will open on July 1st and continue until October 1st. Until then, please visit any of the links to the left to find out more about the state park and the star party. If you have any questions, just click on the Feedback link above and send us an e-mail.
We look forward to you attending and hope to make this the best star party on the mid-Atlantic coast. Please let us know if you have any suggestions to make it better. And tell your friends and help us keep the Staunton River Star Party growing!
Your SRSP Team
The star party will be held at Staunton River State Park in Halifax County, Virginia near Scottsburg and about 30 miles east of South Boston, Virginia. GPS coordinates are 36° 41' 46" N latitude and 78° 41' 06.9" W longitude. The area is in a blue area on light pollution maps.
Once you arrive at the park, follow the main road to the visitor center. The star party will be held on the field directly adjacent to the visitor center. Entrance to the field will be via the visitor center roads. Then follow the painted lines on the field.
Attendees will be able to setup and camp near their equipment in either tents or RVs on the main field (although RVs on the observing field will not have hookups). You may also park next to your campsite, although (obviously) you will not be able to leave during the night, so plan accordingly. Staunton River State Park also offers a number of cabins and campsites with hookup, neither of which is far from the observing field. To reserve a park campsite or cabin, please visit the park's reservation page.
Electrical power will be provided for astronomy equipment on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will be limited to only certain parts of the observing field. Charging batteries, etc. will be possible for everyone.
Limited Internet connectivity is available in and around the visitor center (at one end of the observing field). We will also have a live feed of weather conditions in the visitor center.
Toilet and shower facilities are provided by the park, including porta-potties on the observing field as well as shower facilities in the pool house. The visitor center also has a store that provides items you might have forgotten to bring, as well as a wonderful meeting room where we will hold our presentations.
For those of you who wish to entertain yourselves during the day, the park offers hiking trails (although some are closed because of tornado damage) and quite an extensive area for boating on the adjacent lakes. Birdwatching is also great at the far east end of the park. And fishing is definitely one of the main attractions of the park. If you have an NC fishing license, you can fish in the park without getting a Virginia license. And if you need a VA license, you can purchase on in the park's visitor center, right next to the observing field!
Food will be provided by the park but the cost is not included in the star party registration fee. Certain items will be available throughout the night for observers. Here is the proposed menu:
|Cheese Pizza||$2.25/slice, $11.00/whole|
|Pepperoni Pizza||$2.50/slice, $12.00/whole|
|Supreme Pizza||$2.75/slice, $13.00/whole|
|BBQ Plate (BBQ, slaw, bread, fries)||$5.75|
|Coffee||$1.25 or $1.50 to fill your mug|
|Waffles with Bacon or Sausage||$4.00|
|Fresh Fruit||market price|
Various other bottled drinks, as well as chips, crackers, candy, and pastries will also be available. Pricing for those items are still being determined.
The Staunton River Star Party is held twice a year (in the spring and the fall). In the spring, the star party is a very informal event ... no presentations, and limited vendor participation. In the fall, we try to have speakers present varying topics, some that will appeal to the scientific astronomer in you, some that will help you observe, and some that explain new technologies or gadgets ... and expect a greater vendor presence.
The Staunton River Star Party welcomes the following vendors to the spring star party ...
Providers of astronomy accessories that are ... beyond the ordinary!
AstroGizmos will also provide Internet connectivity for the star party.
Specializing in precision hand-crafted optics and accessories
Providers of camera and astronomy equipment in the Triangle area of North Carolina.
If there are other vendors you would like for us to invite to the star party, just click on the Feedback link above and send us their contact info.
We are currently working to sign up sponsors for the 2014 Staunton River Star Parties!
Attendees who insist on violating the rules will be required to leave the event and will forfeit the remainder of their registration fee. Determination of who is violating the rules will be made by CHAOS club officers and state park rangers.
If you have any questions that are not covered in this list, please feel free to use the Feedback link in the menu above to send us a question by e-mail.