A year-long celebration of Fermilab’s 50th anniversary

Celebrate Fermilab's 50th year right. Join in the fun at the Mucca Pazza concert on Jan. 21!

Celebrate Fermilab’s 50th year right. Join in the fun at the Mucca Pazza concert on Jan. 21!

This year Fermilab turns 50. You won’t want to miss the events we have planned, so pull up your calendars and start marking dates. We’ll keep our 50th-anniversary calendar for employees and users up to date, too, in case you’d like to bookmark that webpage.

The culminating, capstone event of the year occurs in the fall. It’s Fermilab’s giant Community Open House on Sept. 23. Encourage your friends and neighbors to plan now to attend: Participants will take behind-the-scene tours of the major research facilities at Fermilab, rub elbows with scientists and engineers, and see the laboratory up close in a way they wouldn’t typically be able to. The event is free. We’ll say more about the grand finale as the date approaches.

Kicking off the year, Director Nigel Lockyer invites all to attend the first all-hands meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. Learn what we have planned for 2017, and enjoy coffee and cupcakes afterward.

Our first public event is a celebratory one — a big party complete with a party band, birthday cake and hands-on activities. On Saturday, Jan. 21, Mucca Pazza rings in our 50th anniversary year with drums and brass, cheerleaders, strings and accordions, and tumbles, dances and spins — a show that will challenge you to stay in your seat. The music will move from Balkan to brass band groove to noise rock to avant-garde game show themes without missing a step. Performances can induce geeky freak-outs and nerdy rapture from either audience or band members, and often both. The concert, part of the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series, starts at 8 p.m. It will be preceded by a special celebration, complete with cake, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online.

On Friday, Jan. 27, hear Fermilab scientist Chris Quigg discuss “Fermilab’s Greatest Hits,” also part of the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series. He’ll trace the lab’s evolution from start-up to world-leading center, highlighting landmark research results while recalling iconic moments and extraordinary characters. Get your tickets for the lecture.

In February, you’ll have two chances to enjoy public events at the laboratory. The first takes place on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m.: the annual Family Open House. Children and parents can take in a Mr. Freeze show, ask scientists questions, participate in science activities, tour the lab and tour the universe in the process. The second opportunity is a fun community event that has spread around the world like wildfire: PechaKucha Night. PechaKucha Nights are held in Batavia periodically, and on Thursday, Feb. 16, Fermilab will host! Enjoy short, snappy, engaging talks where experts talk about a topic over 20 slides — and are given only 20 seconds per slide. Get your tickets to PechaKucha Night Batavia at Fermilab.

Science exploration continues into the third month with the annual Wonders of Science show, March 19, at 1 p.m. A fast-paced series of demonstrations on chemical and physical phenomena that will involve you and your young scientists mentally and, at times, physically. Register for the event.

In June we look back to Fermilab’s original laboratory artist, Angela Gonzales, with a retrospective of her drawings and designs. Gonzales is perhaps best known for designing the Fermilab logo; she also designed report covers and other printed materials and developed the official Fermilab color palette. The opening reception for “A Lasting Mark: Artist Angela Gonzales at Fermilab, 1967-1998” takes place on Thursday, June 1, at 5 p.m. in the Fermilab Art Gallery.

On June 7, we will host a day-long symposium that celebrates 50 years of discoveries and breakthroughs at Fermilab and looks ahead to the lab’s future at the forefront of science and innovation. The 50th Annual Users Meeting will take place on the following day, featuring speakers representing the breadth of the current research program enabled by Fermilab facilities. We’ll provide more information about this event as the date approaches.

And on June 15 — 50 years to the day after the laboratory’s first employees came to work — we’re celebrating on social media. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Special Fermilab Colloquia related to the 50th anniversary will occur monthly. For more information, check the labwide calendar or the 50th-anniversary calendar for employees and users.