Celebrating Firsts

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Yuri’s Night at the Manitoba Museum. I had never attended before in the past, but my co-workers assured me that it would be a great time.

Yuri’s Night is a celebration of Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human to venture into outer space on April 12 1961, and all things astronomy and space. The event is held in the Manitoba Museums Science Gallery, what was formerly Touch the Universe when I was a kid. The venue is perfect for science geeks and general public alike.

Myself, like many others, enjoyed the nostalgia of seeing a couple of old exhibits in the gallery from when we were kids, but we also thrilled to see new and exciting exhibits to play with as well.

The night was complete with bar, meteorite petting zoo and two dance floors. One out in the Science Gallery, the other inside the Planetarium! My personal favourite was of course in the Planetarium, although cramped with limited dance room, there is something to be said to dancing to great tunes while the Zeis star projector spins and jives while casting stars across the dome of the Planetarium. It is a rare and fantastic treat for anyone who loves to dance.

The evening finished off with a costume contest, of which there were a great variety that evening. From a Russian science teem and their cosmonaut, to all manner of pop-culture and classic space characters people pulled out the stops for their costumes in celebration of the first human in space.

The one downside is that there were not any speakers this year as there have been in past years. We can only hope that next year the Museum will bring this aspect back to the celebrations, as I was looking forward to hearing experts in various fields debate topics like life outside of Earth or the possibility of returning to the Moon.