NASA Langley’s first Yuri’s Night on April 4 was a evening of excitement, inspiration and engagement as we joined 171 parties in 41 countries on 6 continents and 2 worlds to celebrate the art and science of space exploration.
Some 1,200 people from Hampton Roads, Virginia and points beyond gathered at the Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC) in downtown Hampton for a night to festivities that include a DJ Jeyone, reggae band The Prisoners, dancing and martial arts by Capoeira Resistencia, belly dancing by Neferteri and a folk-belly dancing fusion by Dancing Turle Folk Arts of Fields Dance Studio.
Techn0 music pounded on the main floor of the architecturally astounding VASC while on the third-floor open-air Observation Deck, the theme was reggae and stargazing with the Virginia Peninsula Astronomy Club.
Other highlights included a costume contest, the Galactic Laser Light Show, a Mars-tini lounge, food with the $5 ticket price, demonstrations of robots, and all of the unbelievable exhibits already inside the VASC. NASA Langley, which shared the event with the VASC, displayed numerous interactive exhibits and both organizations staffed the event along with enthusiastic volunteers.
Event staffers, meanwhile, busily interviewed night-goers, took photos and video, and did real-time postings to the NASA Langley Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Yuri’s Night pages. We posted a photo stream via Flickr on the NASA Langley external web site. And there’s more to come. Also check out the Yuri’s Night Hampton Roads web site.
A Congressman and a couple of Hampton City Council members rounded out the crowd and made comments. Speaking of the crowd, for a Gen Y event it drew a generous share of Boomers and Beyond, plus a few parents with their children. This may say something about the event expectations of Hampton Roads residents … it’s a very family-oriented region. And the VASC specializes in activities for the general public and children.
Yuri’s Night Hampton Roads 2009 was supposed to be a young people’s event. Me, though, I liked the inclusivity.
Space is everywhere …