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I Heart Pluto Festival Downtown Flagstaff

Category: Downtown Blog

The annual I Heart Pluto Festival is here! This festival is organized by Lowell Observatory and celebrates the anniversary of Pluto’s discovery on February 18, 1930. 

This year’s festival spans the weekend of Thursday, February 15th through Monday, February 19th. Festival activities take place at Lowell Observatory and throughout Downtown Flagstaff.

Join in the fun and celebrate Pluto with these fun activities happening in Downtown Flagstaff!

Kick off the I Heart Pluto Festival at Makers and Menders! This event is at Mother Road Brewing Company. on Thursday, February 15th starting at 6:30pm. Mother Road Brewing Co. will unveil its new I <3 Pluto beer and discuss its style. Lowell Observatory historian, Kevin Schindler, will give a talk on the search for Pluto and the observatory’s history. The event will also include trivia with a chance to win prizes! This event does not require tickets and is open to the public. 

Explore Downtown Flagstaff during the Pluto Pub Crawl! Participating pubs, bars, and brewhouses will feature custom Pluto-themed drinks, plus some spots will have local astronomers! The pub crawl is on Friday, February 16th from 6pm-9pm. Tickets are not needed and the event is open to the public. 

Grab your ticket to the I Heart Pluto Night of Discovery at The Orpheum Theater. This all-ages event is on Saturday, February 17th from 7pm-10pm, doors are at 6pm. Diana Gabaldon, author of the "Outlander" series and great-granddaughter of Lowell’s own Stanley Sykes, is the keynote speaker. Leading the interview will be author and science journalist Melissa Sevigny with KNAU (Arizona Public Radio). There will be a special book signing with Gabaldon. Plus there will be a special proclamation by Mayor Becky Daggett. This event has regular and VIP tickets that can be purchased here.

Fun Facts!

Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh on Tuesday, February 18, 1930. Tombaugh had both breakfast and lunch in Downtown Flagstaff on the day he discovered the new planet! 

In 2001, Flagstaff was recognized as the world’s First International Dark Sky City. This achievement recognizes Flagstaff’s preservation and protection of the dark night skies. Dark Sky Brewing Co. in Downtown Flagstaff was named in honor of Flagstaff’s Dark Sky title. Dark Sky Brewing Co. works to craft a beer selection that is as unique and beautiful as every star, meteor, and comet we can see while stargazing from our beautiful backyard! Dark Sky Brewing Co. is also a sponsor of this year’s I Heart Pluto Festival! 

Local artist, George Averbeck, has a collection of blown glass art pieces inspired by both Pluto’s discovery and Flagstaff’s Dark sky. Pieces from Averbeck’s Pluto Group and Dark Sky Series are currently on display at Sky Harbor International Airport. Pieces from his Dark Sky Series can also be found at Arizona Handmade Gallery/Fire on the Mountain!

For more information on the I Heart Pluto Festival, click here