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Blue Origin scientist to speak at Mars New Year dinner

MARS – Orbital Reef chief scientist Tara Ruttley of the Blue Origin spaceflight company is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Mars New Year Blast Off Dinner in February 2023.

Mars Mayor Gregg Hartung said at a meeting Monday that the dinner kicks off the every-two-years celebration. The event, which culminates in the summertime Mars New Year festival, raises funds for the festival’s operations and features presentations from local and national science, technology, engineering, and math organizations.

“The Blast Off Dinner is basically the celebration to begin the timeline until the festival in the beginning of June,” Hartung said. “Next year, it will be at the Steamfitters in Harmony.”

The fundraiser dinner will be Feb. 23 though this time around, the actual astronomical new year on the planet Mars will fall on Dec. 26, 2022. The borough plans to hold a celebration combined with its regular New Year’s Eve event to begin the upcoming celebration of the Mars region’s 150th anniversary.

“We’re going to actually do a traditional New Year’s celebration, and start the Mars 150 off, and Mars New Year will be combined with that,” Hartung said. “Then, we’ll have the Blast Off dinner at the end of February.”

Improvements on park

New mulch was put in at both the Clay Avenue and Garfield parks, public works foreman Ed Dorsey said at the meeting.

At previous borough meetings this year, parents and community members called attention to the need for a refresh and repair in the playground at Garfield Park, asking the borough to work on cleaning up the location.

“They’re both a lot better than they were,” Dorsey said. “You have to have it up to the brim, so we’re going to have to put in some more next year.”