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News From Eclipseville - Where Will You Be?

News from Eclipseville – Where Will You Be?

With the total solar eclipse now less than a month away, most of us have probably already considered where we will be when totality occurs. Whether you’ve made that decision or not, here are a few options that you may want to explore.

Attend an Event

Many people choose to attend a public eclipse event and there are several good reasons to do so. First, sharing the experience with a group of people can add to the sense of excitement. You may enjoy feeling a connection with your fellow viewers. Many people who have experienced an eclipse in a group setting report that they made friends that they still stay in touch with.

A group setting may allow you to connect with others who either have experience in viewing an eclipse or who have scientific knowledge to share. Events typically have someone who is making announcements to help you understand what you are seeing and to let you know when it is safe to remove your eclipse glasses (only during totality!).

In Gatesville, we have several options to join a public event. Some of those require pre-reserved, paid tickets. Paid parking, benefiting the Friends of the Library, is available at the Civic Center/Sports Complex, where NASA ambassadors will be on hand to share their knowledge. Gatesville ISD is hosting an event at McKamie Stadium with activities leading up to the eclipse and serving as a fundraiser for school supplies for students. The Last Drive In is hosting an event that is sure to be fun and family friendly. Coryell Community Church is offering free parking and will have activities and food trucks, but you do need to reserve your spot. Higginbothams and Tobacco Junction have announced viewing parties and I am sure that other businesses will follow suit. For tickets and more information on these events you can visit GatesvilleTxEclipse.com or contact the event sponsors.

Watch from Home

You may prefer to watch from home, with just your family or a few friends present. For many, witnessing a total eclipse is a very emotional thing and they want to share it with those that they are closest to. For families, it can create a shared memory.

You may want to organize your neighbors and have a little block party as everyone gathers in their front yards.  

 

 

 

Watch from Work

Since the eclipse occurs on a Monday, many of us will be at work. While that may be somewhat disappointing to those who would like to watch it at an event or with family, you can make the best of it by making a plan to share the experience with your co-workers. Since traffic is likely to be heavy and restaurants may be busy, consider having a potluck lunch that day. You can even come up with some eclipse related menu items (Sun Chips, Moon Pies). Since totality lasts almost 4 ½ minutes, make a plan that allows everyone a break to see at least part of it if you can’t all stop work to experience the entire time. Depending on your job, there probably won’t be much else happening during that time!

A Couple of Important Tips

Wherever you are watching from you’ll want to remember that, while totality is the most spectacular part of the eclipse, there will be about an hour and 15 minutes leading up to totality and about the same amount of time after when you can observe the partial phases.

Most importantly, you want to make sure that everyone has a pair of eclipse glasses during the partial phases. Permanent damage to the eyes can result from looking at the sun without proper protection. These should be ISO rated 12312-2.  The City of Gatesville has had some custom made with our design, which make a nice souvenir. They are available at City Hall, the Fitness Center and at a few retail stores. Several businesses also have glasses for sale.

The next total solar eclipse to reach the United States will be in 2044 in Montana and North and South Dakota. The next one to touch Texas will be in 2078 when one grazes the southernmost tip of our state. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience for our community. Make your plans now for how you’ll make it special for you and your family!

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