Arranging the Heavens

Not entirely satisfied with a majestic arch of futuristic design that will stretch across the river below the Drake Park footbridge, nor with the fountains of light that will illuminate the west bank of the mirror pond, the committee in charge of Bend’s 1935 water pageant, so we have been told, has arranged for an unusual celestial scene for the late evening of July 4. On that evening, a beautiful crescent and star will hang in the western skies.

To the thousands massed along the east side of the mirror pond, from the bridge down past Drake Park point, the crescent and star will hang directly above the great arch, through which the gayly decorated floats will glide into the stream behind the royal barge holding the celebration queen and her attendants.

It has taken no little work to arrange this celestial spectacle for the late evening of July 4, Walter G. Peak, chairman of the pageant committee reports. On that evening, the crescent moon will be only four days old. Its starry companion will be lustrous Venus, also a crescent when viewed through a telescope. Brilliant Venus will be just a little north of the thin, new moon, about 4 degrees distant.

Very careful calculations were required to arrange properly this extra show for the water pageant, crowning feature of the Fourth of July celebration, the committee in charge intimates. One day sooner and the moon and Venus would have been entirely too far apart. One day later and the crescent would be well up the evening sky, a bit too remote for the bright evening “star” to be unusual or spectacular.

But when deep twilight comes to the Deschutes Basin on the evening of July 4 and thousands of people take their places along the banks of Bend’s picturesque mirror pond, the setting will be ideal — a crescent and star in the western heavens above a mighty arch thrown into relief through the use of subdued lights. Through this big arch will come the royal barge.

There was no such beautiful setting as this, even for Cleopatra in those days when she dazzled the rulers of Rome as she drifted in queenly splendor down the Nile.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1935

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