Frequently Asked Questions about the D.S.F.
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What is the Dark Sky Festival (DSF)?
The DSF is a multi-day family-oriented festival that will provide everyone with an opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe and the science that makes it all work.
The afternoon programs offer a range of activities where we attempt to answer your questions about space and science through fun and interactive programs as well as presentations.
The evening roster includes a portion of our legendary northern hospitality. The entertainment also includes presentations and other activities in a relaxed setting. Once the sky darkens, mother nature takes the spotlight by putting on a spectacular display in the night sky.
I’m a novice to astronomy - I don’t have a telescope. Will I be able see something through a telescope?
During the DSF we setup an assortment of telescopes for people to view through. As well, we have workshops on basic telescope use, navigating the night sky and more.
Who can register and attend?
Registration to the DSF is open to anyone.
Minors (18 or under) can attend however, they must be accompanied by and under the supervision of an onsite adult or guardian who is registered.
Why do you only accept pre-registrations?
It helps us assure the overall quality of the festival and allows us to coordinate activities, provide enough food and organize all the other logistical needs.
For the 2023 DSF, a portion of the festival is being hosted at Salt River (26 kms from Fort Smith) and we need to bring out “everything” that is needed to host you.
Do we have to register if we want to attend for one day or night?
YES - Registration for the DSF is an “all-inclusive” event package. This is to assure a quality experience and to allow for proper planning.
All festival activities (day or night) are for the registered participants.
How much does it cost to register?
Registration for the DSF is an all-inclusive package. Any exception is clearly noted on the DSF program outline.
Adults: $125.00 per person
Youth: $ 45.00 per youth (under 18)
Can I camp at the Salt River DSF site?
Your registration includes WBNP camping fees (2 nights) and a spot at the Salt River Dark Sky Observation Site (Friday and Saturday nights).
Camping at the festival site is provided for registered attendees only.
If you bring your pet (dog), it must always be on a leash and under control at all times.
We ask that you do not bring your dog to the common area. We have equipment setup and there is a chance of leashes getting tangled in the tripods. Some people get anxious near dogs and we want all participants to feel save.
At Salt River site (WBNP) this requirement is part of the Canada National Parks Act.
I’ll be arriving late. Will I be able to find a place to camp and set up my scope?
The tent camping area is in 2 areas at near the main activity site at Salt River. You should have no problem finding a place to set up when you arrive.
Please be sure to observe lighting restrictions if arriving after dark and park in the designated parking area - see map of the site.
Do cell phones work at DSF?
While in Fort Smith you will have cell phone service.
There is NO cell phone service beyond 25 kms of Fort Smith and likely no service at Salt River.
What if there is an emergency while I am at Salt River?
The festival organizers have access to a satellite phone for emergencies.
Where can I stay overnight if I am not interested in camping?
Fort Smith has 2 motels and several Bed & Breakfast or guest houses. See our Quick Links for more details.
If you do not want to camp at Salt River, you will have to drive back to Fort Smith (26 kms).
Where can I buy food and supplies?
Fort Smith has a variety of stores, shops and several convenience stores.
Note that there are NO shops of any kind what-so-ever at Salt River.
What kind of facilities are at the Salt River site?
The festival site provides the very basic necessities for an enjoyable weekend of camping.
Of specific interest, there are porta-potties (modern outhouses). You will also find in the general festival area (short list);
Is electricity available at the observing site?
There is NO electricity at Salt River.
There are generators operated by the organizers and if you need to charge batteries for observing equipment, arrangements can be made for that.
I am unable to attend the festival because ____, can I get a refund?
If you cancel before August 11th (9:00 pm), we refund your registration fee (minus 10% administration fee).
There will be NO refunds offered after August 12th
If the weather is bad during the festival can I get a refund?
NOPE. The DSF is a rain or shine event.
I was unable to register before the deadline. Can you make an exception for me?
NO. To be fair to everyone and for planning purposes, we adhere to the registration deadline and our capacity limit, no exceptions!
Want to volunteer?
The organizers can always use an extra hand or two during the festival. We can assure you that there will be plenty of on-site opportunities available. Just let the festival organizers know you are interested…
What if I have a not-so F.A.Q?
Contact Mike C (the TAWBAS DSF Coordinator) and he will provide you an answer.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (867) 872-0243
- Updated: 28 July 2023
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