Fermilab kicks off 50th anniversary in style

Fermilab’s 50th anniversary year has arrived, and though we’re happy to toot our own horn, on Saturday night Chicago’s Mucca Pazza tooted theirs for us. Ten horns, in fact, along with percussion, accordion, strings and a trio of cheerleaders to boot.

Mucca Pazza was the featured performer at Fermilab’s anniversary kickoff party on Jan. 21, presented by the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series. The sold-out event drew more than 800 people from the local community to celebrate the rich history and vibrant future of the laboratory.

A preconcert party featured science demonstrations, flash-frozen marshmallows with the ever popular Mr. Freeze, a selfie station where guests could take pictures with Einstein (actually Fermilab scientist Milorad Popovic) and open access to both Remote Operations Centers, where people could ask questions of the scientists on duty. This was all set to the music of the Chicago Hot Six, featuring retired Fermilab scientist Roy Rubinstein.

The concert itself featured the 23-piece Mucca Pazza, a self-described punk rock marching band who played two sets of high-energy, brassy original music. In between numbers the cheerleaders toasted Fermilab, offered a chant praising the Tevatron and the discoveries made with it, and led the crowd in applauding the lab’s 50-year history. By the end the crowd was on its feet and clapping.

Saturday’s event kicks off a series of 50th anniversary celebrations that will last throughout the year. Visit events.fnal.gov for more information.