Yuri’s Night is an annual international celebration of Russia’s Yuri Gagarin being the first man to see the Earth from space and this year marks the expedition’s 50th anniversary. Vancouver is one of the 280 cities around the world who have signed up to host special events Saturday April 9th or Tuesday April 12th (the actual anniversary day) in honour of this occasion.
I caught up with Cameron Cronin, who is in charge of Public Programs at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. He said they’ve been wanting to host a Yuri’s Night for a long time and this year, they’re finally doing it for two reasons. The first being that it’s the 50th anniversary, and the second is that it’s a party just for the big kids.
“We’re known for our school programming but we thought it would be fun to open [the Space Centre] up for adults for one night.” Cam added that they will have vodka tastings, borscht, and involvement from the Russian community in Vancouver. “It will be a neat time to look at the whole history of space exploration and reflect on where we’ve been, and where the next generation is going.”
This may be the first of many grown-up themed events at the Space Centre as they hope to expand programming for wider age groups. “Being a non-profit it’s a big risk, but we’re willing to take it,” said Cam who added that all proceeds from the evening events with adults will go directly back into the school programs.
Yuri’s Night will be celebrated Saturday April 9th at the Space Centre from 8:00pm until midnight. Activities will include launching glow in the dark rockets, a human gyroscope (preferably before partaking in the vodka samples), planetarium shows, a courtyard cosmic disco and more. Tickets are $30 per person (must be 19 years of age or older) and are only available in advance.
If you would like to attend this world space party in Vancouver, the Space Centre has offered up a pair of tickets to one of my readers. Here’s how you can enter to win:
Follow @YurisNight on Twitter for information about the global events and connect with the Space Centre in Vancouver @AskAnAstronomer.
I will draw one winner at 12:00pm on Wednesday April 6, 2011. Must be 19+ to enter and attend. Please enjoy responsibly and plan a safe ride home.
Update The winner is Arne Salvesen – congratulations!