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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Movie Night offers teddy bear picnic, sidewalk astronomy, fire truck tours

by Sylene Argent, Local Journalism Initiative

There were plenty of activities for area families to enjoy at the Heritage Gardens Park on Friday evening, as the Town of Essex partnered with a couple of organizations to host a Teddy Bear Picnic and Movie Night on Saturday evening.

As part of the festivities, youths were able to create themed crafts, decorate and eat teddy bear-like cookies, participate in a scavenger hunt, and take pictures with a large teddy bear onsite.

The Teddy Bear Picnic was a clever lead-up to the main feature of the evening, which included being able to pull up a lawn chair or a blanket to watch “Winnie the Pooh” on the big inflatable screen that was set up inside the park.

Katie Bortolotto, Assistant Manager of Recreation Programs for the Town of Essex, was pleased with the overall turnout at the event, noting many area families took advantage of the opportunity to spend time together while there was still warmer weather to be able to do so outdoors.

Events like this one helps families create lasting memories and also bring the community together to enjoy one of the local parks and the activities that the Town of Essex has to offer through its recreation programming.

In addition, Firefighters with Essex Fire & Rescue had a fire truck and bunker gear onsite for local youths to try on and explore. They also handed out fire prevention and safety information in anticipation of its Fire Prevention Open House that will take place on October 11.

Members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre were also onsite at the event, with large telescopes pointed towards the moon. Members were eager to let youth, and parents, step up to get a close-up glimpse of the night sky. They also explained what they were seeing through the scope, including craters on the moon.

Mahayarrahh-Starr Livingstone, President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre, said this is the first year the local astronomy group has visited Essex to host community connection events, though it tries to connect with groups on a continuous basis to promote astronomy.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre has partnered with the Town of Essex a few times this past summer to host sidewalk astronomy events after select Tune Up the Parks concert series nights in both Essex Center and Colchester.

The group, Livingstone said, is always pleased to talk about astronomy, especially to youth, to build interest in what he said is an incredible hobby to enjoy.

On Saturday, October 14, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre will again partner with the Town of Essex and its Arts, Culture, and Tourism (ACT) Committee to host a special partial solar eclipse viewing event at the Colchester Harbour, from 11:30am-1:30pm.

Those interested in attending must register with the Town of Essex in advance.

Livingstone is expecting a great turnout at the event and noted members of his group are excited to connect with the community about the significance of such a natural phenomenon.

He explained enjoying astronomy does not necessarily have to be scientific. Some members enjoy looking at the night sky and even photographing its beauty.

The around 100 members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre typically meet once a month at the Ojibway Nature Center. New members are always welcome. In addition, members also sometimes meet it at the Hallam Observatory, where they continue to explore the stars.

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