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Family Day at ‘Imiloa is March 9

Celebrate ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s eighth anniversary at its annual Family Day sponsored by KTA Super Stores.

This year’s event also celebrates “Journey Through the Universe’s” 10th anniversary, with both free celebrations set for Sunday, March 9.

‘Imiloa’s Family Day will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The first 500 keiki visitors will receive a special ‘Imiloa giveaway to take home.

The day’s offerings include complimentary access to ‘Imiloa’s exhibit hall, free 20 minute planetarium programs, garden tours, as well as the “Journey Through the Universe” presentations, featuring inspiring astronomy talks every hour. For hungry visitors, KTA Super Stores will have food options such as chili and rice, hotdogs and salad for purchase, and free birthday cake will be served to the first 1,000 visitors.

The special engaging and inspiring presentations by Journey through the Universe astronomy professionals will start at 10 a.m., including returning favorites such as Dr. Scott Fisher and Kevin Caruso. Hands-on activities showcasing nano-technology will be featured at stations in the exhibit hall throughout the day.

“We have appreciated the support of the local community these eight years and want to say ‘mahalo’ and invite the public to the center,” said Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director. “The local community has embraced ‘Imiloa’s presence in a way that we could have never imagined and we are incredibly grateful for their loyalty and belief in our mission. Opening our doors free to the community is our way of showing gratitude for that support, made possible by the generosity of the KTA Super Stores ‘ohana.’ We want to thank Barry Taniguchi and the entire KTA ohana for their kokua.”

A special membership discount of $10 off all levels, whether you are new to ‘Imiloa or renewing your membership, will be offered during the celebration.

“This party favor will be given to those who come help us celebrate ‘Imiloa’s eighth anniversary. Memberships must be purchased onsite on Sunday, March 9,” Kimura said. “Even if your membership isn’t about to expire you are welcome to take advantage of this discount and renew early.”

‘Imiloa’s Sky Garden Restaurant will be open early for breakfast at 7 a.m. and remains open until 4 p.m. with a daylong breakfast menu, selection of sandwiches, salads and soups, and weekend lunch buffet. The Center will have outdoor benches and tables available for outdoor enjoyment and picnics.

Hilo’s “Journey Through the Universe,” a full week of cosmic exploration, star-studded space and science education, started Thursday and will go through March 14, engaging local students, teachers and parents in a whirlwind of activities and learning.

Gemini and the other observatories on Mauna Kea, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, NASA, along with the Department of Education Hilo/ Waiakea Complex Area and the many community partners, have sponsored “Journey Through the Universe” in Hilo since 2004. The Hilo site has been nationally recognized as the flagship “Journey” program in the nation.

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