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      Festival aims to take people out of this world

      Star gazers young and old will be in for a treat at the inaugural Midwest Space Fest.

      Star gazers young and old will be in for a treat in October as the inaugural Midwest Space Fest gets underway in Traverse City.

      Dr. Jerry Dobek is passionate about astronomy and is excited that a science-related festival is coming to northern Michigan.

      â??They don't have to be scientists; they don't have to be astrophysicists to come out and enjoy and learn a little bit more about the science around them,â?? said Dr. Dobek, Professor of Astronomy at Northwestern Michigan College.

      The festival starts on October 4th and will include activities for people of all ages. Everything kicks off at the State Theatre with a showing of the documentary "The City Dark" and a tour of the theatre that shows off the State's unusual celestial ceiling. According to organizers this event is unlike other festivals held in Traverse City.

      â??This is very much science focused and we do a lot with the artsâ?| throughout the area and nothing really in the way of science and mathematics, so this is the first one to really focus on science and science education in the area where people can come in and maybe learn a little bit about science.â??

      Folks will have the opportunity to tour NMC's Rogers Observatory on Friday night, and on Saturday night, telescopes will scatter the Open Space in Traverse City for anyone to use. Everyone involved is hoping for clear skies that night.

      â??What better place to have something like... this kind of science event in an area where we can still enjoy some dark skies around us?â??

      Dr. Dobek hopes this festival will peak the interest of a budding young, or even old astronomer.

      â??If we can inspire just one person, be it a young student or an old student or someone explore more about science that they could take that and make the world just a little bit better place, then for me I've done my job.â??

      Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and a telescope will be up for grabs at a silent auction.