Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121 sstone@calacademy.org
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128

CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY
ON SEPTEMBER 26 AND 27, 2009

Weekend festivities will celebrate science and commemorate the Academy’s first 365 days in its new building in Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO ( July 28, 2009) — After years of anticipation, the new California Academy of Sciences opened its doors to the general public for the first time on September 27, 2008. One year later, the Academy will celebrate its first anniversary—and the expected arrival of more than two million visitors from around the world. A weekend-long celebration of science on September 26 and 27 will mark the occasion, presented by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Festivities will include appearances by animal ambassadors such as big cats and birds of prey, science demonstrations, performances by renowned dance troupes, and celebratory African drumming, as well as the premier of a new planetarium show, Journey to the Stars. A stage in the Academy’s west garden will host headliner events throughout the weekend, and a tent in the east garden will feature additional activities and programs.


Events on Saturday, September 26

Chinese Lion Dancers
10:00 am

Lion dancing is an ancient Chinese tradition that brings good luck, prosperity, and happiness to its audiences. The dancers and their thundering musical accompaniment are believed to dispel evil spirits and ensure prosperity, abundance, and good fortune. Join the White Crane Lion Dancers for a rousing performance on the Academy’s front steps.
 
Big Cat Ambassadors
11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm

Meet a cheetah, lynx, serval, and Geoffroy's cat during this presentation by the Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund. Learn about each animal’s native habitat and conservation status, and get answers to your questions about these charismatic ambassadors of the natural world.
 
African Drummers
Noon

Join the Nigerian Masquerade Drummers in the Academy’s west garden and immerse yourself in the sounds of traditional African drumming.
 
Parangal Dance Company
2:00 pm

Experience the colorful costumes and graceful choreography of Philippine folk dancing in this performance by San Francisco’s Parangal Dance Company.
 
Explore the Living Roof
10:30 am and 3:30 pm

Join Academy naturalists to learn about the plants on the Living Roof, as well as the diversity of birds and insects they attract.  Meet in the Naturalist Center on the 3 rd floor.


Events on Sunday, September 27

Loco Bloco
11:00 am

Loco Bloco's inter-generational performing ensemble is an explosion of rhythm, movement, color and passion, combining African, Brazilian, Latin, Hip Hop and Funk beats. Meet the drummers on the Academy’s front steps as they share their passion for performing.
 
Chinese Fan Dancers
Noon

The traditional Chinese fan dance is renowned for its beautiful and delicate poses. Join the Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company to experience this time-honored tradition.
 
African Drummers
1:15 pm and 3:00 pm
Join the Nigerian Masquerade Drummers in the Academy’s west garden and immerse yourself in the sounds of traditional African drumming.
 
Explore the Living Roof
10:30 am and 3:30 pm
Join Academy naturalists to learn about the plants on the Living Roof, as well as the diversity of birds and insects they attract.  Meet in the Naturalist Center on the 3rd floor.
 
Science Adventures
2:15 pm

Come explore the natural world through stories, experiments, games and crafts.  For children in 1 st through 4 th grades; takes place in the Education Classroom on the 3 rd floor.


Additional Programs on Saturday and Sunday

Journey to the Stars
New planetarium show debuts Saturday, September 26
Shows take place every 45 minutes, starting at 10:00 am
Travel through time and space to experience the dramatic lives and deaths of stars. Witness brilliant supernova explosions, dive into the heart of the fiery Sun, and watch it transform into a red giant five billion years in the future. Along the way, you will discover the deep-rooted connection between humanity and the stars.
 
Amateur Astronomers
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday
Join the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers on the Academy’s living roof, and take a closer look at our Sun through a solar telescope.
 
Science and Sustainability Tent
9:30 am – 5:00 pm Saturday
10:00 am
– 5:00 pm Sunday
Join Academy naturalists and partner organizations for a variety of hands-on science demonstrations and sustainability tips. Inside the tent, you’ll meet majestic birds of prey from The Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa, including hawks, falcons and owls. Learn about the habitat and adaptations of these amazing animals, and find out what you can do to help support them in the wild. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will also be on hand with energy-saving tips. "Pacific Gas and Electric Company congratulates the California Academy of Sciences for its amazing first year,” says Nancy McFadden, senior vice president of public affairs for PG&E. “We are proud to partner with the Academy on our shared commitment to a sustainable future."
 
Penguin Feeding
Daily at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm
Meet Pierre, Ocio, and the rest of the African penguin colony. Aquarium biologists field visitor questions as they feed and care for the birds.
 
Coral Reef Dive
Daily at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm
Meet a diver who descends into the exhibit to introduce you to the world’s deepest living coral reef tank, and get answers to your questions about the most diverse aquatic ecosystem on the planet.
 
Swamp Talk
Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm
Learn about some of the Academy’s most popular animals. You’ll find out what it takes to care for the albino alligator and the alligator snapping turtles, which are native to swamps in the southeastern United States.