Let die love sparkle at this Valentine month’s Stargazing picnic

Capetonians and visitors can get to know the dazzling stars in the constellation Carina (the ship’s keel) better this Valentine’s month during a picnic on Paarl Mountain on Saturday, 9 February 2019 – it promises to be another festive evening in the beautiful surroundings. In addition, a spectacular sunset and a free guided tour of the iconic sculpture are included, and the evening is in aid of a good cause.

Visitors can explore the starry sky with the help of Orion Observation Group (OOG) members who share their knowledge and telescopes. The focus is on Carina, a rich part of the Milky Way with many interesting objects such as the second brightest star visible from Earth.

These picnics are popular with local residents and overseas visitors, who especially enjoy the beautiful views of the valley, mountains and peninsula. The theme is ‘Heaven’s starry gems’ and the picnic starts at 18:00. The guided tour of the monument is at 18:30 and visitors can watch the stars from 20:00 to 22:30 with the aid of the telescopes. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets or order one (R300 for two people or R400 with a basket included) at Volksmond Coffee Shop (021 863 2800). Volksmond will also be open for coffee and light refreshments as well as pizza. Safe parking is available and entry is controlled. Please remember binoculars and warm clothing. Visitors are encouraged to explore, and there are outdoor games and playgrounds for children.

The picnic series is in aid of ‘Let’s Read!’, the Taalmuseum’s reading project for children. Picnic-goers are requested to bring a new or second-hand children’s book to donate to this project.

The entrance fee is R40 per adult and R10 per child; tickets are available at Computicket or the gate, but booking (021 863 0543/4809) is essential so that enough telescopes can be catered for. Stargazing picnics will unfortunately be cancelled due to bad weather. Call 073 853 3100 or 083 544 6510 for weather inquiries.

A photography workshop where participants will learn to take time-exposure photographs to record star trails will be presented at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument in Paarl on Saturday, 2 February 2019. For more information regarding all the other exciting events, concerts and courses at the Taalmonument, call 021 863 0543/4809, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook. The next, and last, Stargazing picnic of this season is on 9 March.

The Afrikaans Language Monument: culture, nature and pleasure. And playing an uplifting role in the community sphere.