Each year, extravaganzas include telescopes placed in center’s parking lot, while indoors a sundial and refreshments attract numerous guests. Hosted at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, a presentation delivered by Art Alt of University of Great Falls puts guests in the right mood and introduces the fall equinox and how it affects the Earth.
Even though the extravaganza takes place only once a year, Central Montana Astronomy Society holds such parties monthly from September to November and from January to April. Both the extravaganza and monthly parties are free, and everyone is welcome, both dedicated star gazers and beginners alike.
John Thomas, president of the society, remembers each year people are mesmerized as they watch the stars filling the night sky. He said: "There are people who have never looked through a telescope until they come to look at ours. You can watch the sunrise and sunset on the moon."
During extravaganza, people having their own telescopes are encouraged to bring them with them, sharing the view with other party goers. Occasionally, telescope owners may learn a thing or two about how to use the telescope model they have as well as new things about using telescopes in general.