Orange Blossom Special
International Star Party
February 22 - February 26, 2023
The St. Petersburg Astronomy Club will proudly host our 30th Orange Blossom Special International Star Party at “Withlacoochee River Park” in Dade City, Florida.
The many amenities of Withlacoochee River Park include darker skies and a 30-acre activity field for camping and viewing. There are a limited number of electric and water hookups, so you will want to register early. The park has room to roam, a 1.7-mile paved multi-purpose trail, 13 miles of hiking trails, a 40-foot observation tower, three wooden boardwalks, two playground areas for the kids, and river access for boating in your canoe or kayak.
The Park‘s well-maintained hiking trails are also perfect for bicycle riding. There are trails along the nearby Green Swamp to explore an untouched wilderness of amazing flora and fauna. Each year at OBS we conduct a guided biking tour for those interested in experiencing this unique environment.
Fishing is permitted by boat or along the riverbank. Persons 16 years of age and older must have either a valid Florida or Non-Resident fishing license. Refer to www.myfwc.com for specifics of State fishing regulations. BTW, there’s rather good bass fishing in the Withlacoochee River.
Registration: You must be preregistered to attend. The registration fee is $70.00 for a single attendee, $120.00 for a couple, plus $15.00 per youth ages 7 to 17. Children under 7 are free. There is a reduced rate ≅ 50% if you can attend for only one night. Fulltime high school and college students in Pinellas, Pasco, Polk and Hillsborough Counties receive a 65% discount on their registration. Membership is free while you remain a full-time student. Please go to Join SPAC prior to registering for OBS.
Arrival and Departure: You are welcome to arrive as early as Sunday, February 18, 2023, before the offical start of OBS and pay $15.00 per night for our club members or $25.00 per night for non-members for the additional nights. You must depart by noon on Sunday, February 26, 2023. Arrivals and departures outside of that must be arranged with the park staff. You may also need to relocate to a different site.
Advanced registration should begin on October 01, 2022 and continue through January 22, 2023. Your registration and payment must be received by 5:00 pm on January 22, 2023 to qualify for the reduced registration fee. Registrations received after that are subject to a $25.00 late fee. Registration closes at 5:00 pm on February 14, 2023. No registration can be accepted after registration closes.
Bogus Registrations: We’ve had problems in the past with hackers and bogus registrations so you will be asked to verify your email address before registering. Club members should Sign In and avoid this step.
Accommodations: We have both RV and Tent camping sites located on the observing field. Our observing field has a limited number of electrical (18 20A sites and 24 30A sites) and water hook ups which are reserved on a first come first served basis when you register. There is virtually no limit on the number of dry camp sites we can accommodate on the field. We also reserve the park’s 15 campground sites for use during the star party event. These sites have 30A/50A and water hookups for RV camping. They are located in the wooded area next to the observing field.
For those who do not wish to camp, we have bunkhouse space available for $15.00/night, or you could stay at one of the close-by motels in Dade City.
Refund Policy: While all payments to the Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club are considered non-refundable donations, we may refund your payment minus $10 processing fee if the cancellation is received before 5:00 pm on January 22, 2023. No refund can be issued after that time.
Star Party Apparel: OBS apparel orders have been removed from the OBS Registration Form. You may order them directly from the manufacturer between October 24, 2022 and January 22, 2023.
You will receive an email notification when they are ready to take our orders.
We would like to take a moment to recognize Carmine Manfredi, who was the winner for the 2022 OBS logo design shown here.
Star Party Rules: We have created a short list of rules to make your experience both safe and enjoyable. Please click the button below to view prior to arrival.
Questions: Questions or concerns should be directed to Michael Partain - SpacStarParty@gmail.com.