Acadia Night Sky Festival

Due to public health concerns and safety protocols limiting large group gatherings, the 12th annual Acadia Night Sky Festival is being postponed until September 2021.

September 29 – October 3, 2021

Celebrating the starlit skies of Downeast Maine

Join us for the 12th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival

Join us for one of the premier night sky events on the eastern seaboard. The 12th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival is set for September 29 – October 3, 2021, and will once again be packed with a full schedule of events. With workshops, internationally recognized speakers and hands-on experiences, there truly is something for everyone from families to the serious amateur astronomer.

Help us celebrate the starlit skies of Downeast Maine through education, science and the arts.

Maine’s spectacular rocky coast is home to Acadia National Park, and some of the last pristine, star-filled night skies in the eastern United States. Here, the Milky Way shines bright in the largest expanse of naturally dark sky east of the Mississippi River.

With the rapid loss of dark skies to light pollution receiving national attention, Maine is increasingly being referred to as one place “that still has stars.” We invite you to discover Downeast Maine’s unique commitment to protecting the quality of its starlit nights at this annual celebration.

Cadillac Mountain Star Party

It is estimated that 99 percent of residents of the United States and Europe live under light polluted skies and nearly 80 percent of the world’s population experiences skyglow at night.

 Science Advances

About the Festival

The Acadia Night Sky Festival originated as an outcome of the enthusiasm of the local community and government over the adoption of a local ordinance. In 2007, the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission (BHCC), held their biennial Conservation Summit; it was here that the need to preserve the night skies over Mount Desert Island and its surrounding communities as the darkest skies on the Eastern seaboard, was first brought to light. As a result, the BHCC proceeded to develop over the course of the following two years a local ordinance that required ‘night sky friendly’ outdoor lighting on all new construction in the town of Bar Harbor, in an effort to prevent any further light pollution to our local skies.

The popularity of this effort among both local communities and government drew such incredible support that in 2009, the ‘Bar Harbor Ordinance – Light and Glare’ was voted in by a landslide popular vote. Recognizing the overwhelming response from the residents and respective municipalities, the need to celebrate this wonderful commodity became apparent, and that same year, the inaugural Acadia Night Sky Festival was held.

Since its inaugural run, the Acadia Night Sky Festival has attracted much national attention and recognition, not only for its unique purpose, but for the collaboration that it has inspired among some of the major private organizations in Hancock County. The current ANSF planning committee is made up of representatives from the Emera Astronomy Center, The Jackson Laboratory, Jesup Memorial Library, Mount Desert Island High School, the National Park Service, Seal Cove Auto Museum, and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Our mission is to protect and enjoy Acadia’s stellar night sky as a valuable natural resource through education, science and the arts.

Support The Festival

Poster Sales

Help support the festival by purchasing a 2019 Acadia Night Sky Festival Poster.
Previous years poster are also available.

Show your support

Make a contribution today to help support the mission of the Acadia Night Sky Festival and allow us to continue sharing the importance of dark sky preservation.

Partners and Sponsors

The Acadia Night Sky Festival is driven by volunteer power and support from a range of organizations. 

Sign up to receive the Acadia Night Sky Festival’s newsletter. Twice each year we’ll send you the latest news about the festival including upcoming speakers, event details, and new initiatives being supported by the festival.

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