The Franklin Park Arts Center on Thursday will unveil a new digital planetarium during a program that includes a formal dedication ceremony followed by the first public star show.
Dan and Arlene McGinnis, who live near the park, donated the Digitarium Delta 4 Planetarium system to the county. The equipment uses a portable, inflatable dome to create a full planetarium experience—displaying constellations, zooming in on and labeling objects in space, demonstrating motion and more to engage students and audiences of all ages. Up to 35 people will be able to enter the planetarium for each show.
It was during construction of the arts center that the McGinnis family, through their family Foundation, made a significant donation with the hope that the center could include some type of observatory or star-gazing opportunity. The development of the portable planetarium technology created an opportunity to realize that vision.
The dedication program, which is open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. April 26. The Franklin Park Arts Center is located at 36441 Blueridge View Lane off Rt. 7 Business west of Purcellville.