Winter Star Party Registration
REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!
The link is at the bottom of the page
Winter Star Party: February 13th thru February 19th, 2023
We are pleased to announce that we will open the gates at 10 AM instead of noon on Monday February 13th. The RV's have been given an arrival time beginning at 8 AM, please don't block the entrance gate. There will be staff members there to help make this orderly. Your cooperation is appreciated. Stay tuned for any further announcements.
Due to health issues, G.C. and the gang from Mickies Kitchen will not be at the star party this year.
We wish G.C. the best of luck and a speedy recovery.
We are currently looking for a replacement food vendor. We will keep you posted.
Post Ian Update:
The Girl Scouts have reported that the camp suffered only minor damage. Several tons of sand was washed ashore by the storm. It will be removed and or redistributed by the time we are ready to occupy the property. We will do a visual inspection of the property prior to confirm. We also spoke to the Boy Scouts about Camp Sawyer. They experienced some minor flooding and minor wind damage to some of the Glam Tents but the property overall was not damaged. The Glam Tents were repaired the same weekend.
Dear WSP Attendee,
Due to the recent uptick in covid variant cases, some of you may be concerned about covid and whether we will enforce masks and ask for proof of vaccination. We are neither in the position to enforce masks nor vaccinations. We ask that you observe all state and federal protocols with regard to Covid-19 and its variants. We do expect our attendees to be mindful of each other and respect their decision about whether they are vaccinated and/or decide on wearing a mask. We are here to enjoy looking at our favorite southern celestial objects like we have been doing for the past 38 years!
Stay Safe and Be Well,
Winter Star Party Director
The Winter Star Party is famous for the "steady air" over that portion of the keys.
Borrtle 3 skies with an average SQM of 21.76 are a treat for astrophotographers and observers alike. Bortle Dark-Sky Scale
Click anywhere in the map to see the sky conditions. Light Pollution Map
Sunny days in the 70s and cool, calm nights in the 60s make for a wonderful experience under the stars. local weather on Big Pine Key
Welcome back to the Florida keys!!
Here at Southern Cross, we are very excited to welcome you back to one of the premier star parties on the planet.
It has been far too long since we have seen our friends and "family", the WSP, and the love for astronomy has created for us. We are honored to have you back.
As usual, we will have an excellent lineup of speakers and a few activities for you to participate in and enjoy. Along with the Beachwalk and Laser Tour, this year we will
be adding a new evening talk: An Introduction to Celestial Navigation.
SCAS member and commercial pilot, Martin Caminos, will be demonstrating how to operate a sextant and its use in navigating the earth by the stars.
We will have our normal lineup of vendors including Explore Scientific, Celestron, and TeleVue to name a few.
We will be observing all CDC guidelines in place at the time for those who wish to do so. We have no plans to mandate masks.
Whatever method you choose to protect yourself is your decision.
Both Camp Wesumkee and Camp Sawyer will be open for tent camping. All RV’s will be on Camp Wesumkee as usual.
Glam Tents will be available. These tents will have electricity and air conditioning.
We will be changing the configuration of the Glam Tents to accommodate 5 people per tent.
3 sets of metal bunk beds in the main room and 2 sets in the smaller side room, each person will occupy one set of bunk beds. You will sleep in the lower bunk and stow your gear in the upper bunk.
If you have already made reservations for a glam tent we will be contacting you to apprise you of the change and your new tent assignment.
Also during the registration, please do not forget to select your campsite. Wesumkee, Sawyer w/ parking or Sawyer w/o parking. Select "not camping" if your are staying off site.
There are a few limited spots available outside the gate of the boy scout camp.
If you choose to park there it will be at your own risk.
Now for a little about the 2 camps.........
Everything has remained essentially the same at both camps. Rustic camping with no facilities or power at Wesumkee.
The Boys Scouts did erect a new bunk house for staff but it has no impact on the star party. All facilities remain on Camp Sawyer.
After Hurricane Irma struck and destroyed Camp Wesumkee,, the Girl Scouts decided not to pursue restoring the facility.
It is rustic camping, with only Port-o-Lets. There is no power on the girl scout camp except for the vendor area and only for the vendors and Mickie's Kitchen..
We have changed our procedures to now allow small, quiet (below65 decibels) generators to run 24 hrs. a day for electricity.
Parking is the same as always, you may park in proximity to your campsite as long as you are not setting your equipment up on the berm. For all you first-timers, the "berm" is an area adjacent to the shoreline where we only allow telescopes to be set up so everyone behind the berm can enjoy the southeastern horizon. There is no vehicle traffic allowed after 7 pm and all vehicles parked near the berm must be removed by the same time.
Our Astro- Vendor area will be here as well, straight across from Mickie's Kitchen as always. We are expecting reps from Celestron, Tele Vue, Disc Mounts, and Starlight Instruments, just to name a few.
Mickie's Kitchen is our food vendor. No trip to the Winter Star Party can be complete without a 3 am brownie and hot chocolate from Mickie's kitchen............... I can taste it already!
Camp Sawyer belongs to the Boy Scouts. All bathroom and shower facilities are on Sawyer. 10 private showers and 10 private stalls.
Access from one camp to the other is thru a pass on the west end of Wesumpkee. There is no vehicle traffic permitted on the pass or Camp Sawyer, so you must walk to the showers.
All vehicle traffic must be inside the gate by 7 pm. There will be no gate access til dawn.
The Glam Tents are on Sawyer. Tent camping is available on Camp Sawyer in limited numbers but we only have enough parking spaces to accommodate 75 cars, Glamping or tenting. Once that number is reached Camp Sawyer will be turned of from the registration system and we will accept no more requests there. To accommodate that many cars, no trailers or RVs are allowed on Sawyer. Sawyer will also have electricity throughout the camp thru extension cords and plug stations. Be aware that you should have a 100-foot extension cord with you to be sure you are within reach of a plug.
GREAT NEWS!! THE BOYS SCOUTS HAVE AGREED TO ALLOW YOU TO DRIVE OUT TO WHERE YOU WILL BE CAMPING ON CAMP SAWYER.
HOWEVER, YOU MUST UNLOAD YOUR GEAR AND MOVE YOUR VEHICLE TO THE PARKING LOT BEFORE SETTING UP YOUR CAMP.
NO MORE WHEELBARROWS!
The Speaker presentations will be on Sawyer in an open-air venue. We are planning to have 9 speakers this year. The finalized list will be available soon.
As always, we will have some fantastic door prizes to give away on Friday.
You will receive the details of your arrival time along with your tickets. We have reached out to the church in Big Pine to see if you can use their parking lot for your RV's on Sunday night.
Your parking arrangement will be with the church staff. When we have confirmed, we will post the contact information.
Have a look at our last star party here.....................
Stay tuned to this page and our website for any updates.
If there is anything you need to discuss with us or issues with your registration, please send an email to email@example.com.
From our family to yours, be safe and healthy and we will see you in February.
Thank you again for your patronage.
Tim Khan, Director
Winter Star Party
Russ Brick, President
Southern Cross Astronomical Society
Only Available at Camp Sawyer
The Boy Scouts take GLAMPING to a new level!!
We will be changing the configuration of the Glam Tents to accomadate 5 people per tent.
3 sets of metal bunk beds in the main room and 2 sets in the smaller side room.