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Cedar Key hosts Annual Stargazing Party Feb. 4-8

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State parks join celebration with special events

The Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and Cedar Key Museum State Park will host National Stars-n-Parks Programs Feb. 4-8 as part of Cedar Key's Annual Stargazing Party. 

During the event amateur astronomers come to town equipped with high-powered telescopes for a week-long stargazing event.

Cedar Key is one of the few places in the nation with skies dark enough to host such an event. This is a Public Education Astronomy Program given by volunteers. Activities are designed to stimulate interest in astronomy and to educate the public about advantages of protecting the night sky from light pollution. 

The Department of Environmental Protection's state parks events will include:

• Public Stargazing and Slide Shows at Cedar Key Museum State Park, 12231 S.W. 166 Court, Cedar Key, on Monday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. The astronomers will start the slide show at 7 p.m. with the stargazing to follow. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this event.

• Stargazing Hayride at Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve, Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 6:45 and 8 p.m. A park  ranger and an astronomer will provide a guided hayride through Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve for a nighttime glimpse of this natural area, including binocular stargazing and interpretation. 

Reservations are required and space is limited. This event is free.

The hayrides will depart from the Cedar Key Scrub picnic area on State Road 24, five miles east of Cedar Key. In the event of inclement weather, the ride may be rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7.

For more information and to make reservations, call 352-543-5567. If you require assistance in order to participate in this event, please inform park staff when making reservations. 

For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org.