Judge Emmett, preservation groups team up for Astrodome's 50th birthday party

6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015, at Carruth Plaza in NRG Park

Join Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Preservation Houston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Harris County Domed Stadium, better known as the Astrodome, during free, fun birthday festivities on Thursday, April 9, a half-century to the day after the Dome's grand opening in 1965.

The Astrodome, c. 1965 /  PH file photo

The Astrodome, c. 1965 / PH file photo

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with free parking for the event. Enter through Gate 10, McNee Street, and park in the Red Lot on the north side of NRG Park. The evening's activities will be held in Carruth Plaza in the shadow of the Astrodome.

The highlight of Thursday night's celebration will be Selfies in the Dome from 7 to 8 p.m. Ride a shuttle bus to the center of the stadium, hop off and take a picture of yourself inside the "Eighth Wonder of the World." The National Trust will also be on hand with a social media photo booth to commemorate this special anniversary. Remember to share your Dome birthday pictures using #Dome50.

Share a slice of 3D Dome birthday cake and free "Dome Dogs" and soft drinks while supplies last. 8th Wonder Brewery will be at the party with samples of its latest craft beer. Additional food and drinks will be available for purchase from Bernie's Burger Bus and Buttz Foodtruck. Souvenir cups, T-shirts and lapel pins will also be given away while supplies last.

Several local preservation groups and non-profits are producing a display area related to the Dome's history. Participating organizations include Preservation Houston, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Houston Mod, The Dome Movie, Society for American Baseball Research, and Houston Arts & Media.

Bring your Dome memorabilia and let archivists scan your treasures on-site for the "Astrodome Memories Digital Archives Project." A cooperative effort of Houston Public Library, Harris County Archives, Harris County Public Library, University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, and Woodson Research Center at Rice University’s Fondren Library, the collection will include oral histories, photographs, blueprints, pamphlets, scrapbooks and souvenirs documenting the last 50 years of Dome history.