Repeating an event from June 8, 1918, the solar eclipse anticipated on Aug. 21 is expected to be seen from coast to coast, weather permitting. This does not mean that everyone will have the same view of the event, with those in southwestern North Carolina among those who will have an excellent view.
Most individuals within the contiguous United States will be able to at least see a partial eclipse, however the path of total eclipse will pass over the southwestern corner of the state which will make it within driving distance for those in the Yadkin Valley.
Many places in the path, such as Brevard and Cherokee, have planned special activities and have even issued traffic cautions in anticipation of the number of people expected that day with hotel reservations becoming increasingly difficult to find.
It is not necessary to be in the path to still get a partial view of the total eclipse, which is why some places such as Asheville, are still planning parties. One such local location is RagApple Lassie in Boonville.
“We are going to have a party here,” said owner Lenna Hobson. “It’s going to be in the middle of the day so it’s going to be real unique.”
Opening from 11 a.m. until daylight returns, RagApple Lassie will welcome visitors for free to its eight-acre back lawn where food trucks will be set up. Although no outside food or drink will be permitted, guests are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs where they will receive an “I’m a fan” gift bag with a pinhole viewing kit. Commemorative T-shirts also will be for sale.
“I think it’s a really interesting idea [to have an eclipse party],” said Morgan Harrison, tasting room manager at RagApple Lassie. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t happen every day so getting a bunch of people in to celebrate it is a good idea.”
So is learning more about the eclipse before it happens.
On Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m., the Elkin Public Library will host Roy Doron of the Forsyth Astronomical Society as he presents “The Eclipse: Science, History and Spirituality.”
As the vice president of the society and an associate professor of history at Winston-Salem State University, Doron has prepared a lecture on scientifically important eclipses as well as human understanding of this natural phenomena throughout history and how it impacts societies currently.
The first 40 who register and attend the event will receive glasses for viewing the eclipse.
Although this free lecture is available for those 16 and older, the program to be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 10 is intended for families.
Ideal for third-graders and older, but open to everyone, the Catawaba Science Center will present an educational program that not only teaches the basics of what an eclipse is, but also will provide time and instruction for creating viewers.
The Elkin library will continue its celebration with a special Craft Café on the evening of the eclipse. On Aug. 21 at 6:30, participants will make painted galaxy-covered notebooks.
To register for or find out more about these events at the Elkin Public Library, call 336-835-5586 or go to https://www.facebook.com/Elkin-Public-Library-348138948558054/.
The Jonesville Public Library also will have special activities on the day of the eclipse. Librarian Barbara Gilpin recommended those interested watch the website calendar or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Jonesville-Public-Library-87927458180/ for details.
Other libraries also are providing the glasses through the STAR-Net (Science‐Technology Activities and Resources Library Education Network), which is a part of the STEM learning system. The nearest libraries participating are the Alleghany Ashe, Caldwell and Watauga County libraries.
Special eclipse viewing glasses as well as other items also can be found at places like Lowe’s and Walmart.
For a map of the path of the eclipse, go to http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/path_through_the_US.htm. General eclipse information can be found at https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEcat5/SE1901-2000.html.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.