Moved from its traditional location of Camp Shaw-waw-nas-see, the star party was held at Vana’s Farm, wedged between two cornfields outside Kankakee. Astrofest organizers were delighted with the location and will hold future Astrofests there.
“This is a great site — it provides dark skies, is easy to get to, and has plenty of room for those who registered and those who will drop in,” explained Robert Mansfield, an Astrofest official.
The washed-out horizons to the north and east reminded observers that Chicago and Kankakee were not too far away. Despite the glow from metropolitan sprawl, the open observing field provided rich views of deep-sky gems.
When not observing, attendees gathered in the dining hall to keep tabs on weather forecasts and listen to lectures from notable speakers, such as Dan Falk and Bob Berman. Many chose to stroll the field, either to commune with fellow skywatchers or succumb to the temptation of equipment and astronomy-related goods sold by vendors.