Sputnikfest 2014


Rahr-West Art Museum - click HERE for more info!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wisconsin Garrison - 501st Legion, Vader's Fist

What has become an annual treat at Sputnikfest, was once again one of the high points of the event.  A large contingent of the Wisconsin Garrison 501st Legion/Vader's Fist ("The Star Wars People!") was in attendance.

A wide variety of characters were in attendance - various officers and officials of the Empire to Jawas and even Bossk, the reptilian bounty hunter.  

In the Star Wars universe, these are the bad guys, of course.  But despite the intimidating name "Vader's Fist" - these volunteers know it can be "good" to be bad.  
They invest their own money in their professional quality costumes (see a prior post on details) and these big-hearted Star Wars re-enactors ask for no payment whatsoever for themselves.  All they ask is that a donation to charity be made in their name.  

The weather for this year's event was a bit warm for the time of the year and you gotta know it was pretty warm inside of some of those costumes.  

The photo below shows a group of the Wisconsin Garrison relaxing - and cooling off - in what was a very popular feature of this year's Sputnikfest celebration - a hospitality room for event volunteers.  I did ask these folks if they minded my taking a photo of them partially out of uniform and the graciously consented.  

Some of the feedback from the Stars Wars people this year included "This is my favorite event of the year" - "I love that we are not the only ones who dress up" and "We so fit in at this event!" 

My sentiments exactly.  This is one of my favorite events, I love seeing all the people that get into the spirit of the day, and the Star Wars characters really do fit in at the event.  If you have been at Sputnikfest to celebrate the day with us, you know that.  If you haven't - but have any interest at all in space age history, Star Wars, or just Wacky Tacky Fun - you'd fit in here too.  See you next year!  Planet Terry 

Sunday, September 22, 2013


CCCP, the letters we often see associated with things from the old Soviet Union, stands for Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics.  So - why aren't the letters "USSR" rather than CCCP?  It has to do with the fact that CCCP is from the Cyrillic alphabet and while those particular letters look familiar to us - there are a whole lot of other letters in the Cyrillic alphabet that look more like Klingon than English - and the two alphabets do not readily translate directly.

It is a reasonable assumption that the letters CCCP would have appeared on Sputnik IV somewhere.  

And it is more than appropriate then that we have a CCCP standing in front of the replica of the recovered debris from Sputnik IV.  CCCP in this case would stand for Cute Children Charming Parent.  We note that this parental unit and her two young satellites dispensed with the aluminum foil hats and showed up for Sputnikfest in formal attire! 

Sputnikfest is well-known as a family friendly event - kids get to meet Jawas face to face and even Stormtrooper toddlers show up for the fun!  

Check back next week for more photos from Sputnikfest 2013 - and see you there next year!  Planet Terry

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tinfoil Hats Were the Fashion Statement of the Day!

The best dressed Sputnikfest attendees knew that the ultimate fashion accessory for the event is a properly constructed aluminum foil hat.  Here are just a few of them.  And even the statuary got in on the act.  See the bottom picture here - a brass lawn decoration of a young boy and girl looking at a small frog in a pond.  As it turned out, a little later in the day the frog ended up with his own little aluminum foil hat!  Check back next week for more photos from Sputnikfest 2013 and be sure to wear your own aluminum foil hat when you attend Sputnikfest next year!  Planet Terry

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sputnikfest 2013 - Photos

Sputnikfest 2013 wrapped up Saturday night and was an absolute blast.  I'll be posting some photos from the event over the coming weeks.  If you were there, you may see yourself in some of the photos.  If you weren't there - check to see what you missed and please consider attending next year!  I'll start with a couple photos of the opening feature - ELVIS - or rather Chadwick Gates, Elvis Impersonator.  Here is a link to his Facebook page.  This is the first year we had Elvis at the event and from the crowd reaction, he was a huge hit.
In a prior post - when I first mentioned that we would be having an Elvis impersonator at the event, I quoted a t-shirt slogan that said: "I saw Elvis.  He sat between me and Bigfoot on the UFO."  Well - in a life-imitates-art moment - I will caption this next photo: "I saw Elvis.  He was between the Alien and the Fox with the golf club - right next to the Stormtrooper."  From left to right (not that you would mix them up) - a member of the Wisconsin 501st Legion Wisconsin Garrison, outgoing Miss Space Debris 2012 (Juliet Kosarzycki), Elvis, and a member of the Masquers theater group - promoting the upcoming feature The Fox on the Fairway.
Only in Manitowoc.  Only at Sputnikfest.   See you next year!
 Check back here for more!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Less than a week until Sputnikfest!  This guy is leaving his spaceship at home and making the trip by car!  (some of you may recognize this as a Speed Racer repaint)  One of the popular events at each year's Sputnikfest are the Space Pod Raffles! 
Remember that this event is absolutely free and exceedingly family friendly - it's for kids of all ages!   But is a fundraising event for the children's art programs at the Rahr-West Art Museum - and there are optional activities aimed toward that end.  The
Space Pod Raffle is one of them.  See a previous post for details on how these work, but here is a sneak peak at just one of prize packages you could win if you participate - and believe me, the Force is definitely "with" this Space Pod!  Total estimated value for this selection is at least $150.  This lot will include:
  • a hard to find "Dude Trooper" embroidered patch
  • a leather-bound Star Wars Trilogy - the Barnes & Noble exclusive, still sealed
  • a Space Escapade CD - (see a prior post here discussing this Les Baxter space-age classic)
  • a set of 9 original 1977 Star Wars greeting cards put out by Drawing Board - clean un-used greeting cards with original envelopes
  • Star Wars Return of the Jedi Illustrated Edition - 1983 First Edition, mint condition
  • Plus - the One-Of-A-Kind custom-made Sputnik-Mobile with Alien Driver
  • AND a complete set of Topps Star Wars Series 2 trading cards - a FULL set, with 66 cards and 11 stickers - plus one wax-pack wrapper
This is just one of the Space Pods that will be available.  Be there next Saturday to see them all! 

Something else you will be able to see - a video of the BBC program "All Over the Place" - the part of the episode featuring last year's Sputnikfest.  The BBC television show visited Sputnikfest last year and provided the video recording to the Rahr West Museum for promotional purposes.  BE THERE to see this - because it is likely the only place this side of the "big pond" that you can!

See you next Saturday!  Planet Terry