Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park invites visitors to view and learn about the nighttime sky through its annual Star Gazing Parties. These special National Park Service events, held in partnership with the Shenandoah Astronomical Society (SAS) and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. As part of the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” campaign, these programs encourage visitors to explore Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in a variety of ways and to discover the night sky in a quiet and peaceful setting.
These programs are free of charge and will be held at the Thoburn Redoubt property, located on Bowman’s Mill Road, in Warren County. This tract has been preserved by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and marks the location where the Battle of Cedar Creek began on October 19, 1864. The site is also Stop Number 2 on the park’s self-guided auto tour and is marked by newly installed directional signs, which mark the tour route, making the location easy to find.
The Star Party on October 26th will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will examine a variety of celestial features in the nighttime sky.
Each program will include a short introduction by a park ranger, followed by an astronomical related program given by a member of the SAS. Visitors are welcomed to bring their own telescopes, or use the ones that will be provided by the Shenandoah Astronomical Society.
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park offers a wide variety of ranger-conducted programs, which tell the park’s many stories related to the rich cultural history of the Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War. These programs are offered regularly. Check the park website (www.nps.gov/cebe) or call (540) 869-3051 for a current schedule.