York County Star Party
Hello everyone.  I hope everyone and your families are well,

I'll try to keep this short....  (please stop laughing!)
The parties are approaching, and both are still planned.  Here's the current status on multiple topics

First, and most importantly, Covid issues:

1. I will be striving for a safe party.  I am planning to follow the then-current CDC recommendations for protection, and will go further if necessary and allowed.  
This is a camping event, so if you are observing solo, and maintaining 'social distance", Masks will not be mandatory.  Since we now know that the virus IS STILL TRANSMITTED BY PEOPLE WHO ARE VACCINATED, for safety's sake, MASKS ARE REQUIRED WHEN WITHIN SOCIAL DISTANCES, WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE BEEN VACCINATED.  The logic for this is that many of us know someone who either cannot or will not get vaccinated.  That includes kids and grandkids under 12 that you may come into contact with, people who cannot get vaccinated because of health issues or religious reasons, as well as people who believe they need more evidence the vaccine is safe enough.

ALSO, I will NOT infringe on HIPPA regulations, requiring people to show their vaccination certificate.  HOWEVER, those that DO wish to show such evidence upon entry will receive a BUTTON ON ARRIVAL stating that they got their shot.  Anyone not showing proof of vaccination will not get a button, so that others can take precautions when necessary to help keep the risk lower for all.  Even though the vaccine has been proven to dramatically lower the severity of infections and deaths, it is NOT 100% effective in preventing all infections or transmissions.  What does occur, though, worries me less than NOT taking the vaccine.

For safety's sake, I am planning to cap PRE-REGISTRATIONS for each event to 50 vehicles in the play field and 10 RV site user vehicles in the RV lot, to allow for more social distancing.  Hopefully next year we can plan on allowing more attendees.  THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DEPENDING ON WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH COVID IN AUGUST..  I'm hoping I can allow more attendees, and am planning to give an update before the end of August.  
2.  Andrew of the Busy Bee Food concession is planning to attend both events.  I hope you are hungry.  At night, i believe he is planning to enjoy astronomy as well.  If he has time, LOL.  I will ask him to explain how food service will be operated safely.  Stay tuned for that...

3.  Online registration will continue UNTIL the 31st of August, at the rates published on the website.  RATES WILL INCREASE AT THE ENTRANCE for individuals and families by $5.  Student and day pass rates will not increase at this time.

4.  I have ordered one HANDYCAP JIFFYJON for each event, to be placed on the field near the batting cage, to save time and footsteps to the flush toilets at the bathrooms.  This will also help limit exposure to light from the one pole light that will kept on.  I am planning to try to shield it and filter it red, if possible.  Same for bathroom lighting, both of which are safety issues by the State Parks officials.  

5.  I have discussed options for a shower on-site, and if I can prevent and retain used gray water from being released on the ground, I may be able to set up the 2-roon camp shower tent I was able to purchase on PRIME DAY.  A small contribution may be requested for it's use.  

6.  Next year, with an earlier start, may allow adding T-shirts and possibly a Chinese Raffle.  Hopefully Covid won't be as big an issue as it is now becoming, again.
NOTE: Please share this info with your friends and clubs ASAP.  There is still room available at both events.  While we have never filled this facility before, this will allow everyone to have a safe prime observing site in this one-of-a-kind dark site on the East Coast near all the big cities.  

I wish to thank all of you for your years of support.  After the 2019 event, good skies even with less than perfect conditions, I'm hoping we have a true winner with this location.  
I wish all of you a safe summer, and look forward to seeing everyone at these events.  
York County Star Party
This website has links to the IO group news group, the facebook page, and most of the info you need.

UPDATE MAY 17,2021
Hello everyone!  Obviously, 2020 didn't work out the way any of us expected.
I've been holding my breath (and wearing a mask) for what seems like forever, deciding when it might be safe enough to restart this party.  Well, it seems that time has arrived!
The dates ARE:

September 8-12, 2021
October 6-11, 2021

The best place to get updated info will be (soon, after it gets updated this week):
Please share this info with astro clubs and friends.  If you come across any sites that need to be updated, please inform me that they need attention.

The PA State Parks are on board, the reservations have been paid for, and Andy, owner of the Busy Bee food vendor, has committed to both dates.

Registrations are expected to be opened by the end of May.  Once opened, the registrations will be limited to 100 vehicles for the field, plus the lot space for RVs and heavy campers, so it is important that if you plan to ride together, please register together, or include carshare info on your registration, to allow as many people as possible to participate for each party.  You MUST indicate what you are using for camping. This will be spelled out on the website.

Please, everyone, we must have a safe event.  I will be adding a NEWS AND UPDATES PAGE after the first party page to keep everyone informed as we get closer to the parties.  Please plan on visiting this page occasionally, as it will help you learn what's new.
THAT'S IT FOR NOW!  Be safe everyone,  Have a great summer!  I look forward to seeing you at the parties!
1. MAXIMUM ATTENDANCE SET BY PA PARKS: 100 TOTAL of both fields. Camping field may only be around 75. I will try to map when warmer
2. RULES ABOUT RV/camper PARKING:  At my discretion, using common sense about large RVs vs. smaller campers.
3. THAT BEING SAID, I AM LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO THE FIELD.  (NOTE:this might allow 2-axle campers, depending on size and weight)
4. RAFFLES/ GAMES OF CHANCE ARE NOT ALLOWED.  I am exploring any alowable options.
6. COSTS HAVE DOUBLED FROM LAST YEAR.  I would appreciate having help getting people to register for each party ASAP, or I will not be able to afford doing this very long.  Or I will  need to raise the prices dramatically in the future.  I can't depend on the weather any more than you can.  Please consider circulating info via your club newsletters, and please send ASTRONOMY EVENT CALENDAR LINKS TO ME so I can update their info ASAP.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT EVERYONE.  The door is open to make this a long-term location for our event.  PLEASE SUPPORT IT!
///**** 2020 Dates: TWO PARTIES..MAY 22-25 AND SEPTEMBER 16-20 ********///

The registration page has been designed and made active Thursday January 16, 2020, thanks to the efforts of BJ Gollatz, one of the members of the local club that has supported the star party for about 20 years. 
Each party is listed separately on the same page, and BJ referred to them as the May "Virgo Cluster Party" and the September "Andromeda Party" to distinguish registrations. 
There are 3 reasons to register early:  IN LESS THAN A WEEK WE HAVE MORE THAN A DOZEN SOULS REGISTERED.
1. There are a lot of expenses behind the scenes, so if you register, I can plan the budget better
2. There is a maximum size for attendance without ending up under trees, and I'm getting interest from people 2-4 hours away.  I have no idea how many the 2 fields (tents and RVS) can hold (75? 150?), but I will need to go there (closer to spring!) to check it out and possibly measure spaces for attendees to get an idea. 
3. If I can interest a food vendor for the MAY Virgo Cluster party, it will help if they know they will have some customers.  Busy Bee already committed to the September party.  As an alternative, using the BBQ grills, driving to area eateries, or bringing camp stoves are welcome.  No open ground fires allowed.
I will send a follow up to this email to help answer the most common questions, as we proceed to update the website ASAP. 

Thanks everyone to helping to keep YOUR party going all these years!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again!  Stay tuned!

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