NWSF Information

Hobbs Observatory
Beaver Creek Reserve
Fall Creek, Wisconsin
August 6-8, 2021

CVAS plans to host NWSF 2021 as usual. All attendees will be requested to follow state of WI or Eau Claire County public health mandates in effect at that time.

Sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society (CVAS).

Online NWSF registration and t-shirt order form.

Mail-in NWSF registration form.

Mail-in NWSF t-shirt order form.

Join us for Northwoods Starfest (NWSF), August 6-8, 2021 at Hobbs Observatory, located in the Beaver Creek Reserve (BCR) four miles north of Fall Creek, Wisconsin.

Registrations fees – CVAS has managed to keep NWSF fees the same for over 10 years, unfortunately due to changes charged by BCR for use of the campus we have been forced to raise fees this year.

  • Adults (13 and over) $95 (if received on or before 7/23/2021), $105 after 7/23/2021.
  • Students (5 through 12) $75
  • Child (under 5) No charge

For those wishing to stay onsite, accommodations at BCR include Cedar Lodge and five cabins. Cedar Lodge provides a common area, bathrooms, showers and two attached bunk houses.  Cabins do not have bathrooms, but there is a large bathroom/shower house available for all guests.  Towels/linens are not provided.

Due to COVID, CVAS is planning that the bunk houses will not used in a communal manner this year.  Bunk houses,as well as cabins, will be assign to a family or a mutually agreeing group of individuals.  This means there are non-camping on site accommodations for 7 families/groups – these will be assigned on a first come basis (online registration recommended if you are requesting onsite lodging).  Please consider camping or staying offsite. 

Current onsite lodging availability (updated 7/19/21 9:30pm)

  • Cedar Lodge single – reserved
  • Cedar Lodge single – reserved
  • Cedar Lodge east – reserved for group (NCSF)
  • Cedar Lodge west – open
  • Oak – reserved
  • Pine – reserved
  • Maple – reserved
  • Birch – open
  • Norway – open

Tents and small campers may be set up along the edges of the observing field or in other open areas on the BCR grounds. There is a very limited amount of room for larger RVs – please let us know if you are bringing an RV. There are no RV electrical hook ups.

For those who prefer more plush overnight accommodations there are two hotels located 10 miles (15 minutes) west of BCR near the US 53/WI 312 intersection.

A large field in front of the observatory to set up for observing. The skies are quite dark. Limited AC power is available for the observing field.

In addition to the featured speakers on Friday and Saturday evening, NWSF attendees are invited to share a short talk on Saturday afternoon. If you have something astronomical to share: a presentation, a unique telescope, or anything else that people might enjoy, we encourage you to reserve a paper session time on Saturday afternoon. Please limit your presentation to 25 minutes maximum. If you have short talk to share please note the title on the mail in registration or in the comments box on the online registration.

A swap fest is held late Saturday afternoon. Bring whatever astronomy gear you’d like sell or swap.

The BCR campus offers a nature center, nature store, butterfly house, hiking trails and an obstacle course which NWSF attendees have access to at no additional charge.

Saturday also offers an on your own activity to visit the Eau Claire Planet Walk in downtown Eau Claire at Phoenix Park. An excellent Farmer’s Market at the park runs until 1pm.

In an effort to maximize NWSF attendees’ observing experience, the observatory will not be open to the general public on Saturday night as it has in past years during NWSF.

Beaver Creek Reserve has a strict pet policy: “In the interest of health and safety of all our visitors and wildlife, pets are not allowed on the Reserve.” Please leave your pets at home.

Please let us know if you have any other special needs before NWSF and we’ll do our best to accommodate them. If you have certain dietary requirement, you are welcome to use the refrigerator/freezer and kitchen in the main lodge to store and prepare your own meals.

Registration fee includes BCR camp fees (camping, bunkhouse or cabin accommodations – see photos above), Friday midnight snacks, Saturday brunch, Saturday dinner, Saturday midnight snacks, and Sunday breakfast.

Please note: Although we figure for a few late or at the door registrations, since we are catering the Saturday brunch, if your registration arrives after Tuesday August 3rd, or if you register at the door on Friday August 6th – you may be on your own for Saturday brunch since we need to give a count to the caterer by noon on Wednesday August 4th. Cancellations will be honored through July 23rd (online cancellations incur a $0.30 cancellation charge).

NWSF t-shirts are in addition to registration fees. Costs are $15 (S/M/L/XL), $17.50 (2XL), $18.50 (3XL). T-shirt orders must be received by Tuesday July 20th.  A limited number of t-shirts may be available for purchase at check-in

For more information or questions, email CVAS at: contact@cvastro.org


Friday, August 6th

3:00 pm — Registration (Observatory Office).

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm — Brats and hot dogs (Main Lodge). Cost not included in the registration fee!

  • Brats: $3
  • Hot Dogs: $2
  • Soda: $.50
  • Chips: $.50

7:30 pm — Featured speaker (Main Lodge)

Bob King (aka Astro Bob)

“Pick a Pack of Pulchritudinous Perseids — Everything You Wanted to Know About 2021’s Best Meteor Shower”.

  • https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/astro-bob/
  • https://www.facebook.com/astrobobking/

9:00 pm — Observing session begins.

Midnight — Snacks (Main Lodge). 11:00pm if cloudy

Saturday, August 7th

10:00 am to 11:30am — Brunch (Main Lodge) and registration (Observatory Office).

1:00 pm — Paper sessions (Main Lodge). Paper session schedule will posted in the Main Lodge and Observatory Office.

4:00 pm — Swap Fest (Observatory Classroom).

5:30 pm — Dinner (Main Lodge)

6:15 pm — Door prizes, must be present to win (Main Lodge).

7:00 pm — Group photo (Observatory Patio, Main Lodge if raining).

7:30 pm — Featured speaker (Main Lodge).

Dr Bill Wolf – UW-Eau Claire Department of Physics and Astronomy

  • https://www.uwec.edu/profiles/wolfwm/

9:00 pm — Observing session begins.

Midnight — Snacks (Main Lodge). 11:00pm if cloudy.

Sunday, August 8th

8:00 am to 10:00am — Breakfast (Main Lodge).

  • Blueberry pancakes, sausages, milk, juice, coffee.

Noon — Checkout