While member clubs run their own events, one NCRAL member club runs the annual NCRAL Convention. Clubs petition the NCRAL and volunteer to host the regional convention for the benefit of everyone. If an NCRAL member organization has an event which is open to all NCRAL members, and they would like to have it listed, you can send your request to the webmaster.

Door Peninsula Astronomical Society to Host NCRAL 2018

Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is moving ahead with great enthusiasm planning for NCRAL 2018. According to Gary Henkelmann, president of DPAS, “Our committee, headed up by Jacque Axland, has been meeting regularly and has selected the dates of May 4-5, 2018. The venue is the Lodge at Leathem Smith (Sturgeon Bay, WI). This is good program site; they have a banquet facility. (The Lodge is a popular wedding site that we locked-in early, and is only a mile from the DPAS astronomy campus).  Special NCRAL room rates are available for the block of rooms set aside for the event.

“We are celebrating the news this month that Newport State Park in northern Door County has achieved the long-awaited designation from the IDA as an International Dark Sky Site (articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay Press Gazette, Door County Advocate, and Peninsula Pulse), the first in Wisconsin and only 13th in the US.  The theme of our 2018 conference will highlight this accomplishment.

“Jacque and her committee have been meeting on conference calls with John Attewell (Rochester Astronomy Club, RAC) and will be incorporating some of the format and procedures employed be the RAC in putting on their wonderful convention, including on-line registration.

“Further information will be available as it materializes, and we will keep you posted. Our website can be referenced for updates, and our monthly newsletter, the Blue Moon Observer, edited by Dr. John Beck, can also be viewed on the website. We will also provide ongoing updates through the NCRAL newsletter as well.”

Gary Henkelmann, DPAS President

Wisconsin Observer’s Weekend 2017

The annual Wisconsin Observer’s Weekend (WOW) will be held on June 22-25 at Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca, WI. Sponsored by NCRAL member society NEWSTAR, this event has a maximum registration of 150 so if you’re thinking of going get your form in sooner than later! Details and registration forms can be found on the club website.

Northwoods Starfest 2017

The annual Northwoods Starfest will occur on August 25-27 at Hobbs Observatory in Fall Creek, WI. See the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society website for details.

2017 Iowa Star Party

The Iowa Star Party will be held September 14-18 at the Whiterock Resort in Coon Rapids, IA. Visit their website for more information.

2017 Illinois Dark Skies Star Party

The Sangamon Astronomical Society (Springfield, IL) will host the Illinois Dark Skies Star Party September 21-23. The event will be held at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area in west central Illinois. Detailed information and registration is available at their website.

Northern Nights Star Fest Cancelled for 2017

Northern Nights Star Fest in Minnesota will not happen in 2017 due to the timing of the eclipse and date conflicts with Long Lake Conservation Center, but Ken Hugill from Minnesota Astronomical Society has sent a notice that next year’s dates are locked-in for September 5-9, just after Labor Day.