Sputnik Fest 2012

Amy and I have done some strange things in the name of Astronomy, including this trip to the Sputnik Festival 2012 in Manitowoc, WI. It turns out that on September 6, 1962, a 20-pound chunk of the disintigrating Sputnik IV landed right in the middle of the intersection of Eighth and Park streets in Manitowoc, WI. For the past five years, the city has hosted a Sputnik Festival at that intersection, a festival which has twice been recognized by Reader’s Digest as one of the Top Five Funkiest Festivals in the U.S. Amy and I were lucky enough to be there for their five-year anniversary.

 

An alien sits next to the ring that marks the spot where the 20 lb. chunk of Sputnik IV landed in Manitowoc, WI in 1962.

 

A plaque at the side of the road commemorates the historic event. It also marks the spot where the chunk of Sputnik IV laid until someone realized what it was.

 

One of many vendors at Sputnik Fest.

 

A contestant in the Alien Pet Contest.

 

Star Wars was a popular theme for some reason.

 

A replica stored at the museum adjacent to the actual fall site.

 

First place winner of the Cosmic Cake Contest 2012.

 

Contestants waiting for the results of the Aluminum Foil Costume Contest.

 

Two policemen are forever memorialized in Manitowoc as the earthmen who first discovered the debris (and kicked it to the curb). Here, Amy and I get to relive that exciting moment in history.

 

Contestants vie for the coveted Miss Space Debris crown and are judged on their beauty, costume, and talent.

 

A group of onlookers wearing aluminum foil hats (which was strongly encouraged) wait for the Miss Space Debris contest results.