Last Updated on June 15, 2021 by Jeremy
Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.
Any time I think of Mars, PA, it is almost always in tandem with at least one Martian reference of some sort.
As such, I wasn't too surprised to find out that Mars hosts a semi-annual Mars New Year celebration to honor the planet's roughly 687-Earth day revolution around the sun.
While the actual three-day festivity is taking place a few months after the official new year (which occurs on the Mars spring equinox in the northern hemisphere), the borough hosts an annual dinner as close as possible to the exact Martian New Year (most recently on March 23, 2019).
With a line-up of speakers and Martian references aplenty, we were pretty excited to attend this one as guests of our friends at Butler County Tourism.
Mars Blast Off Dinner Featured NASA's Chief Scientist!
The Blast Off Dinner featured a cocktail reception with a meet-and-greet with NASA's Chief Scientist, Dr. James Green, as well as a robotics demonstration from area high school students and an exhibit of the Moon Ark.
The latter was perhaps the most interesting as it is a CMU-led art project designed to be the first museum exhibit to land on the moon (containing hundreds of pieces of Earth in its impressively small size). This piece is hoping to launch in 2021 aboard a vessel made by Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic (whose CEO, John Thornton, also spoke during the dinner).
But what was perhaps the real treat of the evening was getting to hear Dr. Green talk about space exploration, specifically around the red planet of Mars, and hear his insights from an illustrious career at NASA.
From the past successes of the Mars landers to upcoming launches and even manned missions to Mars in the next few decades, there truly is a lot to be excited about going on off-planet!
Getting Excited for the Mars Exploration Celebration
For those who couldn't make the dinner, you're in luck- Mars (the town) also hosts a three-day festival to celebrate all things Mars (the planet) and takes place from May 31st to June 2nd in 2019!
The festival will have exhibits to learn about all things space, complete with NASA scientists, VR experiences, rover demonstrations, speakers, live music, and more.
While we haven't attended this event yet, we are most certainly looking forward to checking it out during the celebration this summer!
The Mars New Year Bast Off Dinner occurs close to Mars New Year every 687 days or so! We'd like to thank our friends at Butler County Tourism for inviting us out for the evening!