Annual Waimea Solar Walk Lets You Explore Waimea and the Solar System
One of the things I love about living in Waimea is that there is so much to do throughout the year. Lots of people know about Waimea’s storied paniolo (cowboy) heritage but not a lot of folks realize that Waimea is also home to several world-class astronomy facilities. Waimea’s high-tech facilities provide great educational and fun opportunities throughout the year.
Classic Waimea Photo by Peter French
Waimea Solar Walk 2017
For example, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and W.M. Keck Observatory are holding their annual Waimea Solar Walk on October 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Solar Walk turns Waimea into a scale model of our solar system with the sun at Keck and Pluto/dwarf planets at CFHT. This is a really enjoyable, kid-friendly event that allows adults and children alike to learn about our solar system. I had a lot of fun doing this with my son when he was younger, and those new to Waimea will enjoy it too because it gives folks the opportunity to explore downtown Waimea.
Beautiful Waimea with quintessential foggy topped pu’u (hills)
Participants can begin the walk anytime after 10 a.m. The Solar Walk starts at Keck Observatory’s Headquarters, 65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy, (across from North Hawaii Community Hospital), and continues through the solar system (actually Waimea) to Canada France Hawaii Telescope offices, 65-1238 Mamalahoa Hwy, (across from the Waimea Elementary School), visiting all the planets along the way.
Fun Activities and a Barbecue!
There will be lots of activities along the walk route, as well as at CFHT headquarters. After finishing the Solar Walk, you can enjoy a complimentary hot dog, hamburger, or cheeseburger hot off the grill.
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Headquarters
Because the Solar Walk takes place close to Halloween, many attendees go all out dressing in costume for this event with a popular costume contest at 1 p.m. and prizes for the keiki (children.) Prize categories include best space costume, best group costume, best costumes for those in preschool and elementary school, as well as best costume for those aged 11+, and a grand prize!
In addition, keiki age 12 and under completing the walk will receive a coupon for free admission to Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. For more info on the Waimea Solar Walk, call Mary Beth at (808) 885-3121.
Julie Keller, RB