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Summer Star Festival in the Santa Monica Mountains

On August Second, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area will host a free Summer Star Festival, and you're invited. The out-of-this-world evening will include star-gazing, constellation tours, music and children's activities.

"We share a dark sky oasis with those who want to escape the glow of city lights," said Robert Cromwell, park ranger for the National Park Service. "We invite the public to come out and view the Milky Way galaxy in all of its splendor!"

To kick off the event, a band made up of park rangers will play astronomy-themed rock tunes. Then there will be a family-friendly astronomy lecture and a constellation tour lead by local astronomy professors. As things get darker, you'll be able to use high-powered telescopes to take a closer look at Saturn, Mars, and other corners of the Milky Way. There will be a waxing crescent moon this evening, which should provide a fairly dark sky for good stargazing.

Since the park is staying open late, rangers will also use the evening to teach visitors about nocturnal animals in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The summer Star Festival will be held in the area of the Santa Monica Mountains called Paramount Ranch (where daytime visitors can hike around a Western Town used as a filming location). The one-day festival will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday August Second. The address for Paramount Ranch is 2903 Cornell Road in Agoura Hills. Wear warm clothes and bring a flashlight with a red filter if you have one. For more information, call 805-370-2301.

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