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Top Things to Do in Wisconsin

Big news from Travel Wisconsin! Yerkes Observatory was selected as a film site for an upcoming multi-state commercial. After several scouting visits, Travel Wisconsin’s film crew of thirty people spent July 25th filming a wonderful family walking into Observatory, up the grand staircase, and into the Great Refractor Dome. Then they filmed the family in awe as they watched the thirteen-foot slit open in the top of the Dome. Then sunlight poured in right on the family as if we’d planned that with the biggest spotlight in the solar system. We all had goosebumps. It was one of the coolest film shots I’ve ever seen. They had a drone flying around and around the inside of the Dome, then out of the opened Dome, over our fifty acres with Geneva Lake shimmering beneath, and then back into the Dome.

Our facilities staff started working at sunrise to make the telescope and floor look great. They succeeded! A gigantic thanks to them and a big high-five to Brendon S. and David S. from Travel Wisconsin for making the day happen. We even got a visit from Shane from Travel Wisconsin’s headquarters in Madison. What an honor! Shane told us that Secretary of Tourism Anne Sayers really enjoyed her visit to Yerkes in the early spring. Well, we certainly loved hosting her. I mean, c’mon, we had the Secretary of Tourism for the entire state of Wisconsin visit us before we were even open. Cheers to that.

Jana and I had tours going on the same time as the film shoot and it was rather hectic but one of the liveliest days in our resurgence so far. The entire north side of the Observatory was filled with trailers, tents, and trucks for this very big shoot. We’re quickly becoming one of Wisconsin’s top attractions. We’ll be in the Top Things to Do in Wisconsin faster than an asteroid. The irony is that we’ve been around for a century and a quarter, but it feels like we’ve opened for the first time. Teaser: We have a National Geographic special on us coming out later. They were here filming for an entire week. But for now, it feels sensational to be embraced by Wisconsin, our home state.

–Walt

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