Saturday, January 23, 2021
Auditorium of Catawba Science Center
Hickory, North Carolina
Only 85 Days Until BoBfest 2021

Here are the latest developments and plans for BoBfest 2021:

Format Changes

As of October 11, 2020, we are planning a hybrid event. We will meet in person with a limit of 85 people. REGISTRATION ONLINE IS REQUIRED. The first 85 to register will receive a "ticket" to print out and present for admission to BoBfest (it's free!) All the talks will be available online via ZOOM, and streamed live on our Facebook page and maybe our YouTube Channel.

In the event that the pandemic is worse and we are not able to host an in-person event, we have plans to present BoBfest 2021 entirely virtual via Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube Live.

In 2021, we will hold all talks in the SALT Block Auditorium, in the Main Building, the big old school building beside the regular BoBfest West Wing site. The auditorium and supporting rooms are on the second floor of the building and easily acfscessible by elevator and stairs. Entrance to the main building is from the North Lobby or the South Entrance at the Hickory Art Museum.

Schedule Changes

for 2021, we plan to go back to the old BoBfest format of two keynote talks in the morning and three keynote talks in the afternoon. We do not plan to have any afternoon breakout sessions. The schedule looks like this right now:
8:30 a.m. - Doors Open
9:30 a.m. - Welcome 9:45 a.m. - Keynote Talk
10:30 a.m. - Break
10:45 a.m. - Keynote Talk
11:30 a.m. - Lunch 1:00 p.m. - Keynote Talk
1:45 a.m. - Break
2:00 p.m. - Keynote Talk
2:45 a.m. - Break
3:00 p.m. - Keynote Talk
4:00 - Door Prize and Closing

Scheduled Speakers

Jonathan Ward and Michael Leinbach - "Bringing Columbia Home"
Nora Coffey - Light Pollution
John O'Neal - Imaging With A Smart Phone
Sam Choate - The Choate 3000 Star Atlas
Richard Wright

Food and Refreshments

We are working to provide onsite food vendors such as food trucks. We anticipate very limited available of tables and chairs for lunch dining. Refreshments will be different. We will have a more limited selection and everything will be pre-packaged individual servings. Canned soft drinks and bottled water. We will have a barista to draw you a cup of astronomers coffee. Refreshments will be limited to one room and the second floor hallway. No food or drinks in the auditorium.

Door Prizes

We may have fewer but bigger ticket Door prizes. Again, Details are pending. We are working on a way to purchase door prize tickets online. All door prizes must be picked up. We doubt that we will ship any. We are still working on this.

Displays, Special Programs, and Exhibits

There will not be any shows in the Millholland Planetarium this year as the planetarium is not operating. Exhibits and displays will be placed in the hallway as space permits. Special programs such as a Science Center Family Activities Room are not expected to happen. Solar Observing may happen weather permitting but will involved live images displayed on screen at the telescope.

Vendors and Swap Tables

Vendors and swap tables will set up in one or two rooms as before.


We anticipate that social distancing, masks and other protections will still be in place in January.
Stay tuned for more info!