Space fans celebrate Yuri's Night across Central Florida

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:57 AM EDT

Did you know tonight is the biggest space party of the year? It’s Yuri’s Night and tens of thousands of people around the world will celebrate, including here in Central Florida.

It’s named after Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space that happened 52 years ago on this day. It’s also the 32nd anniversary of the first space shuttle launch. So to celebrate the day when humanity first entered space, people celebrate with space-themed parties across the globe.

“Yuri, the first human in space blasted off on April 12, 1961, and the key is that he was the first human, not the first Soviet or first Cosmonaut, he represents all of us that want to follow his lead and go into the cosmos,” said Ryan Kobrick, Executive Director of Yuri’s Night.

There are 317 events planned in 47 countries this year. Parties are being held Friday night and this weekend in Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Daytona Beach and Orlando.

Central Florida parties for this weekend:

Yuri's Night Daytime BBQ
Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
Saturday at 2 p.m.
150 N Atlantic Ave
Cocoa Beach, Florida, 32931,

Nolan's Irish Pub
204 West Cocoa Beach Causeway
Friday at 5 p.m.
Cocoa Beach, Florida, 32931

Yuri's Day/Night at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Friday at 10 a.m.
Daytona Beach, Florida, 32114

UCF Yuri's Party!
University of Central Florida
Friday at midnight
Orlando, Florida

KSCAA Astronomy Star Party
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge
Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Scottsmoor, Florida

Geek's Night Out
StoneFire Art Gallery
Sunday at 5 p.m.
2500 S Washington Ave.
Titusville, Florida, 32780

Yuri's Night FridayFest

Friday at 10 p.m.
Historic Downtown Melbourne