Mars is a planet. Mars is a chocolate bar. But Mars is also a tiny borough that can be found in Butler County and has a great sense of humor about itself. The most noticeable thing about the place is that there is a structure resembling a flying saucer sitting in town square, but there’s also a school with the nickname “Fighting Planets”.
The borough officials have recently announce the first ever Martian New Year celebration that just so happens to coincide with the actual planet’s New Year – is starts on the eve of June 19 and last all throughout June 20. A publicity stunt no doubt, but a fun one.
Mayor Gregg Hartung gave a statement saying that the Mars Historical Society previously chose to discontinue its traditional New Year’s celebration due to general disinterest and unfriendly winter weather.
But the mayor could not help but wonder when the actual Martina New Year takes place. He contacted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and found out that each Martian year lasts for two (2) Earth years as the red planet takes twice as long to revolve around the sun.
He then told a NASA representative what the borough would like to do, and NASA happily assigned Mars a liaison. The space agency also promised to provide exhibits and personnel for the New Year’s celebration.
Mayor Hartung then gave another statement informing that “Three parts of NASA coming together to bring things to Mars, Pennsylvania, to celebrate Mars’ New Year. NASA has done great – way beyond what we expected”.
The event is not just for fun, as the mayor goes on to stress that it will have an emphasis on education in science, match, engineering, technology and art.
Attendants include Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, Julielynn Wong from the Johnson Space Center and April Lanotte, a Mars Area High School graduate who now works for NASA.
Activities include a concert by DJ Dave Whitmire, a performance held by Greater Cranberry Men’s Chorus, a sci-fi costume contests, several visual presentations and exhibits about planet Mars, fireworks, and quite possibly the highlight of the two (2) day event – a screening of the trailer for the upcoming movie The Martian, starring Matt Damon.
The plot of the movie revolves around Damon’s character, Mars Astronaut Mark Watney, who is presumed dead after a storm hits, but remains very much alive. Left behind by his crew, he must now find a way to signal back home in hope of a rescue.
The movie also start Academy nominee Jessica Chastain and is directed by legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott whose cinematic masterpieces include Alien and Blade Runner.
Mayor Gregg Hartung hopes that the event can become a yearly one.
Image Source: jean-christian.net