On Oct. 20, astronomy-lovers and nature enthusiasts will get the chance to spend a night under the stars at Town Creek Indian Mound’s Shooting Stars Sleepover. Participants can camp on the grounds, view a movie based on an ancient Cherokee legend, and catch a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower.
“We’ve had a lot of people interested in camping on site,” said Karen Bowles, a historic interpreter with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. “Usually it’s not allowed, but we wanted to offer something around this time of year for folks to camp out.”
Limited camping will be available in the village site area of Indian Mound for $30 per tent, and spots on the adjacent field will be sold for $15 per tent.
Check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, where campers can set up tents and camping gear. A community bonfire will also be provided throughout the early evening hours.
“At about 7, we’ll give a brief presentation on the Orionid meteor shower that will occur overnight between 12 and 4 a.m.,” Bowles said. “After that, we’re going to show a movie outside called ‘Voices in the Wind,’ which was filmed here, about a Cherokee story.”
Campers are also encouraged to keep an eye out throughout the night for the meteor shower.
According to Bowles, this opportunity is the first of its kind.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever offered live camping in the village site,” she said. “It’s a rare opportunity for people to do that. Usually being that it’s an archaeology site, it’s very sensitive, but we’ve been listening to the visitors and hearing what they want to do, and we wanted to allow them to come camp out.”
Site manager Rich Thompson said he is hopeful for clear skies on the evening of the event.
“We’ve done astronomy programs in the past where we allow folks to come out for a few hours and look at the sky,” he said. “Meteor showers usually don’t peak until after midnight, so what we’re doing is allowing folks to camp … My hope is that the weather will hold up.”
Town Creek Indian Mound is located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road in Mount Gilead.
Registration is required and space is limited. Contact email@example.com or 910-439-6802 for more information.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org