On April 10th, About an hour before the festivities officially began, I drove the short 10 mile distance from my home to Boulder, parked and walked to The Lazy Dog on the Pearl Street Mall. About ten people were busy decorating the place, emptied from tables apart from side booths. Ryan Kobrick (a fellow Astronauts4Hire founder) was orchestrating everything, from helping the first band get ready to decorations. Also present from A4H was Laura Stiles, and it was cool to meet a few of the people interested in space and more specifically, some of the members of Astronauts4Hire (Chad Healy came in later as well).
At 7pm people started pouring in. By 8pm the place was humming with CU students, people in space costumes and some recognizable faces, all having fun - eating, dancing and drinking space drinks such as a Soyuz Capsule or Apollo 'n' Lemon.
A guest book was available for those who had something to write for future generations celebrating Yuri's Night. As you can see, the best I came up with was the famous Buzz Lightyear quote from Toy Story - "To infinity and beyond!". Not poetry by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it reflected the wishes of many of the people there.
There were several notable guests that came to celebrate. Dr. Alan Stern, one of the barn-stormers of suborbital research was there with his family, and CU professor and former astronaut, Dr. Joe Tanner, came dressed up in a flight suit. I was most surprised to see the president of ISU (International Space University), Dr. Michael Simpson and his wife, who normally reside in France (ISU main campus is in Strasbourg, France).
President of ISU, Michael Simpson and his wife, Carol
Fellow A4Hs Laura and Ryan talking with Alan Stern
Astronaut Joe Tanner (middle) and some of the costumes, outside of the Lazy Dog
So how do I summarize such an event, one of over 190 parties around the world? In one word, Fun. In three words? Not enough time. Why? Because I left early (around 10pm) due to the 5K race I ran the next morning.