Last chance of this season to experience a Stargazing picnic

For the last time this season, locals and visitors can get to know the dazzling stars of Africa’s celestial skies during the last picnic on Paarl Mountain on Saturday, 9 March 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.

Guests can explore the starry sky with the aid of Orion Observation Group (OOG) members who share their knowledge and telescopes. This time, the focus is on the ‘Big 5 of the African sky’, a project of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) to inspire people to explore and appreciate the southern night sky. The five big that will be focused on include an open star cluster (Southern Pleiades), globular star cluster (Omega Centauri), bright nebula (Eta Carinae), dark nebula (Colesack) and galaxy (Milky Way).

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. For more on the ‘Big 5 of the African sky’, see www.facebook.com/big5sky/

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