What is the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo 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.
It offers a variety of afternoon activities where we attempt to answer questions for you about space and science through fun and interactive programs as well as presentations.
Evening programs includes a healthy serving of our legendary northern hospitality. Entertainment will also include 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 new to astronomy, and don’t have a telescope. Will I be able view something through a telescope?
At the DSF there will be an assortment of telescopes setup for people to view through. As well, there will be 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 (those 18 or under) can attend but must be accompanied by and under the supervision of an onsite registered adult.
Why do you only accept pre-registrations?
It helps us assure the overall quality of the festival and allows us to properly coordinate activities, provide enough food and organize all the other logistical needs.
A portion of the festival takes place at Pine Lake (58 kms from Fort Smith) and we need to haul 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 festival 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 registered participants.
How much does it cost to register?
Registration for the DSF is an “all-inclusive” event package.
Early Registration: $105.00 / adult & $35.00 / youth
Late Registration: $135.00 / adult & $45.00 / youth
Can I camp at the Pine Lake DSF site?
Your registration includes WBNP camping fees and permission for up to 2 nights at the Pine Lake Dark Sky Observation Site (Friday and Saturday nights).
Camping at the festival site is allowed for registered attendees only.
I’ll be arriving late. Will I be able to find a place to camp and set up my scope?
The camping field covers several acres. You will have no problem finding a place to set up no matter 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?
Yes, and NO.
While in Fort Smith you will have cell phone service. There is NO cell phone service beyond 25 kms of Fort Smith and absolutely no service at Pine Lake.
What if there is an emergency while I am at Pine Lake?
The festival organizers have access to a satellite phone for emergencies.
Where can I stay if I am not interested in camping?
Fort Smith has 2 motels and several Bed & Breakfast or guest houses.
If you do not want to camp at Pine Lake, you will have to drive back to Fort Smith (58 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 Pine Lake.
What kind of facilities are at the Pine Lake site?
The festival site at Pine Lake 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 Pine Lake. 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 July 26th, we refund your registration fee (minus any fees we were assessed for credit-cards, e-transfers, etc.).
There will be NO refunds offered after August 16th, final registration deadline.
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 all and for planning purposes, we have to adhere to the registration deadline and our capacity limit.
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 DSF Coordinator) and he will provide you an answer.
email@example.com or call (867) 872-0243
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