Growing up in the rural hill towns of Massachusetts as a young boy, Todd Sullivan always enjoyed community picnics. It was a great way to have fun with the townspeople outside of school, church and such. Now an Atascocita resident and avid astronomer, he always thought that Atascocita needed an astronomy and space sciences event.
Sullivan reached out to Lisa Borisch-Burton, co-owner of Culvers of Atascocita and Kingwood, to donate their famous custard. Before you knew it, the first “Atascocita Star Party and Picnic” was born.
Sullivan also talked to Dr. Aaron Clevenson, director of the Humble ISD Insperity Observatory, and inquired about bringing the solar telescope so that one could view the sun safely during daylight hours while everyone settled in. The observatory then became a sponsor.
Sullivan talked to friends at his North Houston Astronomy Club board meeting one evening about getting involved. His colleagues are never ones to pass up an engagement opportunity, so they agreed to come with their telescopes and to promote STEM engagement.
The first event met triple the attendance expectation; so it was decided to make the event a twice-annual event, conducting one every April and October.
This year the Atascocita Star Party and Picnic falls on International Astronomy Day on April 29. The event will be held at the Neighborhood Wal-Mart, 12312 Will Clayton Pkwy. in Humble, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket, chairs and guitars. If the event needs to be canceled due to weather, the group will post on the Atascocita Star Party Facebook page by 4 p.m. that day.