Outdoor Weekend Events February 17th – 19th

Start Saturday with an early, group run and pancakes after at Big Dog’s Pancake Run. All running levels welcome – just show up at 6:00 a.m. est in front of Big Dog Running Company in Uptown.

Also in Uptown – you can browse or buy baked goods, organic produce and so much more from local vendors at Market Days from 9:00 a.m. est until noon Saturday.

If you want to check out or participate in some cool mountain biking at Flat Rock Park – the Go Nuts Season Opener is Saturday morning as well from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. est.

This weekend’s highlighted event is Astronomy Night at FDR State Park from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. est Saturday night. An astronomy team from Columbus State University’s Coca Cola Space Science Center gives a tour of the nighttime sky, points out constellations and provides awesome telescopes for everyone to look through for free! (The parking fee at FDR State Park is $5)

Shawn Cruzen is the Executive Director of CSU Coca Cola Space Science Center and says the view of the nighttime sky through their telescopes is a sight to see.

“And the beautiful thing is those telescopes can really show up night sky objects the way you’ve never seen them before with your own eyes. So it’s a great program. It gets you oriented to be able to find the stars yourself and even if you have a home telescope, once you figure out where these things are in the sky, you can go find them with your own telescope as well,” says Cruzen.

He says this weekend there are a few things that will pointed out on this particular Astronomy Night.

“This weekend’s sky is going to be fantastic because it features a couple of very neat grouping of objects. The first is: Venus and Mars are very close together over in the Western sky. And Venus is putting on a show – it’s very very bright,” says Cruzen.

“In addition to that, there’s a group of stars called the winter oval. The Winter Oval are eight of the 20 brightest stars in the entire sky, and they’re all together making a great grouping very near this amazing object called the Orion Nebula – which if you haven’t seen the Orion Nebula in a telescope – it’s one of the most beautiful things you can see,” adds Cruzen.

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