Mars New Year Festival Brings Infinity and Beyond To Your Own Backyard
An out-of-this-world experience is headed to Mars Borough, just 25 miles from Pittsburgh, the weekend of June 9 and 10.
Strap on your spacesuits, set your rockets to 25 miles north of Pittsburgh and begin exploring the wonders of the red planet.
Mars Borough will celebrate the return of its bi-annual New Year Festival, along with the town’s 150th anniversary.
Downtown Mars will be crawling with Martians and humans alike from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 9, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 10.
This out-of-world experience will highlight the many wonders of space exploration from your own backyard.
NASA professionals will share their love of space and exhibit an 8-wheeled Mars Rover, sample tubes, graphic novels and other space-related items during the event.
Longtime mayor and space enthusiast Glenn Hartung reached out to NASA in 2014 to discuss possible collaborations based on the town’s name. The space agency was a go for launch.
In 2019, the borough received a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to help fund the creation of a Mars Discovery Center within the municipal borders.
During the festival, representatives from the Pittsburgh-based lunar logistics company Astrobotic, Armstrong, Civil Air Patrol, Commonwealth Charter Academy, the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport and Airquest Aviation will showcase a flight simulator, robotics demonstrations, model rocket launches, a robotic dog and a mobile aquaponics lab.
“The Mars New Year Festival is a community event held on the streets of Mars, Pennsylvania, that celebrates our fascination and curiosity with outer space and humankind’s journey to the moon, Mars and beyond,” a festival press release reads.
Artwork from Mars Area and Washington County high schools will also be on display in a space-themed art gallery.
A Mars-themed drone show, a new LEGO building contest for pre-registered participants and a costume contest will round out the galaxy-inspired activities. The Mars 150th committee will judge the costume contest.
Don’t forget to hydrate with Stick City Brewing Co.’s Water From Mars.
Food vendors from Mars and throughout the region will also include beverages by Mazzotta Winery and non-alcoholic options.
“The festival will get attendees fired up and inspired about the journey to Mars. Come and meet the people and their creations that are helping to make this happen,” said John Donehoo, chairperson of the Mars New Year Committee, in the release.