Mars New Year Festival 2023

MARS NEW YEAR Plans for Out-Of-This-World Festival

NASA Contributes to the Event with a Passion for Mars

June 9, 5-10 p.m. and June 10, 12-10 p.m.,

Downtown Mars, PA

The event features STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) educational activities for all ages, as well as entertainment, food, community vendors and more. The Mars New Year Festival is a community event held on the streets of Mars, PA that celebrates our fascination and curiosity with outer space, and humankind’s journey to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

Throughout the family-friendly festival, a variety of highly esteemed professionals from NASA will share their passion for space and the planet Mars. NASA is bringing a variety of artifacts including an 8-wheeled Mars rover, sample tubes, rock cores, and graphic novels, among other interesting space-related items. Speakers will also have the opportunity to share topics related to space and the planet Mars. 

“The festival will get attendees fired up and inspired about the journey to Mars. Come and meet the people and their creations that are helping to make this happen,” says John Donehoo, Chairperson of the Mars New Year Committee. 

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 9th, 5-10PM

5:00PM-8:00PM Pittsburgh Glass Center demonstrations (Art Alley, Duncan Ave.)

5:30PM-6:00PM Denise Hill, NASA “Heliophysics Big Year” (Stage)

5:30PM-6:15PM “Build it to Blastoff” by the Carnegie Science Center (Advance Church)

6:00PM Rocket Launch (Mars Boro Baseball Field)

6:30PM-7:00PM Dr. Michela Muñoz Fernández, NASA Mars Sample Return – How to Bring Mars Sample Tubes Safely to Earth” (Stage)

6:45PM-7:30PM “Build it to Blastoff” by the Carnegie Science Center (Advance Church)

8:00PM Rocket Launch (Mars Boro Baseball Field)

8:00PM-10:00PM Live Music: Velveeta (Stage)

10:00PM Drone Show

Saturday, June 10th, 12-10PM

12:00PM-5:00PM Army National Guard Rock Wall 

12:30PM-1:00PM Dr. Aaron Gronstal, NASA “The Visual Story of Astrobiology: NASA Astrobiology Graphic Histories” (Stage)

1:00PM Mary Snow, Thinking About Our Lives on Mars (Stage)

1:30PM-2:00PM April Lanotte, NASA “NASA Aeronautics” 

2:00PM Costume Contest (Stage) | Rocket Launch (Mars Boro Baseball Field)

2:30PM-3:00PM Nick Lang, NASA “NASA-Mars-You: How YOU can do Mars science for NASA and more!” (Stage)

3:30PM STEAM Challenge Awards (Stage)

4:00PM Rocket Launch (Mars Boro Baseball Field)

4:30PM-5:00PM Mitch Schulte, NASA “Mars 2020/Perseverance, ExoMars, Mars Missions” (Stage) 

5:30PM-6:00PM Careers in the Space Industry Panel (Stage)

6:00PM Rocket Launch (Mars Boro Baseball Field)

6:30PM-7:00PM Michael Meyer, NASA “Mars Sample Return Science” (Stage)

8:00PM-10:00PM Live Music: Time Tested (Stage)

10:00PM Drone Show 



  • Airforce
  • Armstrong
  • Armstrong Comfort Solutions
  • Carnegie Science Center
  • CCA – Techworks (Commonwealth Charter Academy)
  • City of Asylum
  • Civil Air Patrol, Pennsylvania Wing
  • Coherent
  • Drone Addiction
  • Girl-on-the-Hill STEAM Builders
  • Karski-Spokane Orthodontics
  • Lori Donehoo
  • Mars Historical Society
  • Mars Robotics
  • Military Community Support Project
  • NASA
  • PA Army National Guard
  • Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Aiport and AirQuest Aviation
  • Pittsburgh Glass Center
  • Pittsburgh Space Command #473
  • PPG
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting


  • Mazzotta Winery
  • Stick City Brewing 
  • Mobile Chef Boardwalk
  • Mobile Chef International
  • Mobile Chef World Fusion 
  • The Snowman
  • Hot Shot Dogs
  • Global Street Foods
  • Nostalgia Concessions


  • Armstrong
  • Planet Mart
  • Grable Foundation
  • Butler Country Tourism and Convention Bureau
  • First Energy
  • Mars Bank
  • Lutheran Senior Care
  • Stick City Brewing
  • Vogel Disposal
  • Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport & Airquest Aviation
  • Advance Church
  • Regional Learning Alliance


Go from scattered parts to launch-ready!

Form a team of up to 6 individuals and build a pre-selected LEGO set with the fastest time to win the CASH PRIZE!

Age groups: 6 yrs. and younger, 7 to 15 yrs., 16 and older

Register your team at this link. 

Interested in volunteering?
Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with more information.