John Glenn once said, “the most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.”

The Novato Space Festival is a wonderful event that truly captures the essence of Glenn’s sentiment. The annual festival provides an opportunity to meet legendary astronauts in an intimate setting, learn about different space programs and experience dozens of unique exhibits. It’s educational and fun. I’m pretty excited to be volunteering again this year.

This year’s event (which will be the 6th festival) will be held on Sunday, August 6th, 2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at The Space Station Museum / Pacheco Plaza’s “Center Stage” (464 Ignacio Blvd, Novato, CA) – admission and parking are free.

Astronauts and special guests include:

Al Worden: Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 Lunar Mission
Jerry Ross: Space Shuttle Flights 61, 27, 37, 55, 74, 88, 110
Nicole Stott: Space Shuttle Flights 128, 129, 133
Bruce Melnick: Spaces Shuttle Flights 41, 49
Dan Bursch: Space Shuttle Flights 51, 68, 77, ISS 4
Yvonne Cagle: NASA Flight Surgeon
Ed Rezac: Hubble Space Telescope Engineer
Michelle Rouch: Award-winning Aerospace Artist
Stormtroopers: Elite Troops from the Galactic Empire

This year, families with children 12 and under will be granted early admission at 9:30am and get to attend a book reading by astronaut Jerry Ross. There will also be a solar telescope with lens grinding demonstration, a moon rock, a Novato meteorite and much more. If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, be sure to visit the festival.

Here’s a video from last year’s event.