I was about to start a new thread (which I still may do) but I first wanted to add some information here relative to "Lower Cost Star Parties".
I founded and direct/manage two star parties, the first being the Deep South Star Gaze (formerly the Deep South Regional Star Gaze) and the second being the Deep South Spring Scrimmage.
The Deep South Star Gaze got it's start way back in 1983 at Percy Quin State Park near McComb, MS and the 36th Deep South Star Gaze was just held last November over 5 days and nights at the White Horse Christian Retreat Camp near Sandy Hook, MS. It is the more expensive of the two so I will withhold further comment about it until the end of my comments.
The second star party is the Deep South Spring Scrimmage. It was started about 10 years ago to serve as a compliment to the DSSG being that it is held 6 months away from the first, either before or after depending upon how you look at the calendar. The Spring Scrimmage differs from the DSSG in that it is shorter - 3 days and 3 nights and it has no registration fees and it has no vendors or scheduled programs. It is essentially the "no frills" version of the DSSG.
It is held at the same venue, what we call "White Horse", which is about 35 miles southwest of Hattiesburg, MS and about 90 miles north of New Orleans, LA. This location gives us Bortle 3 skies with a NELM of 6.6 magnitude. This is better than any of our previous 3 sites. This site also boasts lower horizons, and a great opportunity this spring (and every spring) to see and photograph the Omega Centaurus globular cluster (NGC 5139) which rises to a height of 12 degrees about our southern horizon. (Last spring I had a great view of it from this location thru my Miyauchi binoculars at our exploratory star party at this location.)
So, as I said we have no registration costs for the Spring Scrimmage. Your costs will be $35 per night for a bunk in a bunk house with heat or a/c depending upon outside conditions and with nice bathrooms with showers. Each bunk has a mattress, you need to provide either a sleeping bag, or other bedding plus a pillow and whatever you need to function in the bathroom (toilet paper and paper hand towels are provided). There is a nice main hall with tv, there is also a game room and quite possibly we will once again have snacks at night - burgers, hot dogs, chips, etc. You pay for that as needed. For your regular meals you can haul in what you need, or you can eat off site. There is a very popular place about 3 miles away, the "Country Diner" which always has a good crowd and good food at reasonable prices.
There are electrical connections on site and you can dry camp with your camper or rv (there is a charge for that). Dates for the upcoming Spring Scrimmage are set at Thursday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 5th. Someone driving a distance can very likely come in a day or two early. Our dates do conflict with TSP, but some from our area or from locations east of us may not have the time or the money to get out to west Texas. We offer good skies at a very reasonable cost.
Basically you pay for housing and you pay for food. The sky, and hopefully our good humor and fellowship will provide the entertainment.
Note - the fall Deep South Star Gaze is our main event, later this year will be #37. It will be held from October 22nd to the 27th. Main difference being that it will have more attendees and we will have a registration fee which we use for expenses for both events and for door prizes in the fall.
I can provide anyone with more information as needed.
Edited by BarrySimon615, 04 February 2019 - 03:52 PM.