The 20th Annual International Orange Blossom Special Star Party,
hosted by the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club, Inc. (SPAC), will be held at the
Withlacoochee River County Park in Dade City, FL (northeast of Tampa).
The many amenities include: darker skies, 30 acre activity field for camping
and viewing (there is limited electricity and water hookups), room to roam, 1.7
mile paved multi-purpose trail, 13 miles of hiking trails, 40 foot observation
tower, 3 wooden boardwalks, 2 playground areas for the kids, and river access
for canoeing (must bring your own canoe/kayak). Fishing is permitted by boat or
along the riverbank. Persons 16 years of age and older must have a valid
Florida fishing license.
Jeffrey Goldstein of AstroGizmos will be on the field with "Astronomy accessories
that are out of the ordinary!" He will have an AstroGazer, the only truly portable
observatory, set up for inspection.
The agenda for the star party, along with deep sky and
solar observing, includes lectures, mirror grinding demonstrations, our ever
popular telescope tour, a group hike on the park trail, Hee Haw Hayride, music
jam sessions, great door prizes, great food cooked on site, and much more.
Our star party is pet friendly so your best friend is welcome. However, pets
must display their current rabies tag/license and have direct adult supervision at
Arrival and Check-In
- You should plan your arrival between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. If you arrive at
6:01 PM or later, you will have to park in the designated parking area until
- If you plan to arrive early, you must let us know. All early arrivals will be required to pay the park's regular camping fees ($15.00/night with electric or $5.00 without electric for tent campers).
- Reception will open from 9:00 until 11:00 AM and again from 1:00 until 6:00 PM every day except Saturday. On Saturday the gate will be open From 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM and again from 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM. Please plan your arrival accordingly.
- Upon arrival and prior to camp setup, you must check in at Reception to get your assigned campsite, meal tickets, T-shirts, etc.
- Do not move your campsite without first checking with Reception.
- The only vehicles allowed beyond Reception are those directly associated with camping. All other vehicles must park in the designated area with headlights facing east. You may drive to your campsite to unload your gear only between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
- Driving on or near the observing field, after sundown, is not allowed. There will be no exception to this rule not even for emergencies.
Registration is Now Open.
This year, you must register on-line. You may use a credit card, PayPal, or mail
a check for payment.