About us

The Acadia Night Sky Festival originated as a byproduct of the enthusiasm of the local community and government over the adoption of a local ordinance. In 2007, the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission (BHCC), held their biennial Conservation Summit; it was here that the need to preserve the night skies over Mount Desert Island and its surrounding communities as the darkest skies on the Eastern seaboard, was first brought to light. As a result, the BHCC proceeded to develop over the course of the following two years a local ordinance that required, ‘night sky friendly’ outdoor lighting on all new construction in the Town of Bar Harbor, in an effort to prevent any further light pollution to our local skies.

The popularity of this effort among both local communities and government drew such incredible support, that in 2009, the ‘Bar Harbor Ordinance – Light and Glare’ was voted in by a landslide popular vote. Recognizing the overwhelming response from the residents and respective municipalities, the need to celebrate this wonderful commodity became apparent, and that same year, the inaugural Acadia Night Sky Festival was held.

In the six years since its inaugural run, the Acadia Night Sky Festival has attracted much national attention and recognition, not only for its unique purpose, but for the collaboration that it has inspired among some of the major private organizations in Hancock County. The current ANSF planning committee is made up of representatives from Acadia National Park, the Abbe Museum, Friends of Acadia, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island High School and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.