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‘Imiloa Turns 10!

by Brea Aamoth on February 5th, 2016

Community Invited to Free Family Day on February 21

On Sunday, February 21, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center turns ten years old!  To mark this milestone, ‘Imiloa will open its doors free to the public with a festive 10th Anniversary Celebration sponsored by KTA Super Stores.  The event will feature food, fun, and free activities for all ages centered around the theme of exploration or “’imiloa” in Hawaiian.

“As ‘Imiloa prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our 2006 opening, we are privileged to have sponsorship from KTA Super Stores, which itself is observing a big 100thanniversary this year.  KTA has played a cornerstone role in supporting ‘Imiloa’s educational outreach over our first decade, and it is thanks to their leadership and that of our other community supporters that ‘Imiloa is here today, proud to be launching our second decade!” comments ‘Imiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura.

‘Imiloa’s 10th Anniversary Celebration starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. The day’s offerings include complimentary access to ‘Imiloa’s interactive exhibit hall, where visitors can step inside and pilot their own tour of the universe on the newly installed World Wide Telescope.  Special programming for the day includes 20-minute planetarium experiences and an opportunity to meet crew members from the ‘Ohana Wa’a and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.  Hands-on science activity stations will be located throughout the center, including an “Inven10 Lab” where keiki will be invited to create their own Cosmic Clay and mold it to invent their own dream exhibit, to help guide ʻImiloaʻs future exhibit redesign as it steps into the next decade!

Free birthday cake will be served to the first 1,000 visitors, and KTA Super Stores will have food options for purchase. Visitors can make their own ice cream at a DIY homemade ice cream booth.

Outdoors there will be “Cotton Candy Galaxies,” inflatable hōlua slides, and “Maunakea Animal Adventure” train rides to take keiki on an expedition to search for Maunakea wildlife throughout ʻImiloa’s award-winning native garden landscape.

To make the day even more special, ʻImiloa will be offering a one-day-only discount of $10 off all levels of ‘Imiloa membership purchased on-site at the event.  Membership includes a full year of free admission, access to exclusive events, and discounts on merchandise and programs.  Whether you are new to the ʻImiloa ʻohana or renewing an existing membership, take advantage of this 10th anniversary discount…and make every day a free day at ‘Imiloa!

After years of planning and design beginning in 2001, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center officially opened on the UH Hilo campus on February 20, 2006, with a blessing and free day for the community to experience its new 12,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall, digital full dome planetarium and native landscape gardens.  Over its first decade ‘Imiloa has hosted some 100,000 visitors annually, including 10,000 K-12 students and teachers on curriculum-related field trips each year.

About ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is dedicated to provide a place of life-long learning. Where the power of Hawaii’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. We are located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo. For more information visit us online at ImiloaHawaii.org; or call us at 808-932-8900.

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