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Solar Eclipse Events in the High Country

Compiled by Jesse Wood

On Monday, Aug. 21, the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” will occur along a 70-mile wide path from Salem, Oregon on the West Coast to Charleston, S.C., on the East Coast. The last total solar eclipse to take place in the continental U.S. happened 47 years ago

The High Country isn’t along the “path of totality,” however the moon will cover about 96 percent of the solar disk for 2 to 3 in the Boone area. The ingress (first sight of the moon on the sun) will occur at 1:10 p.m., and the greatest partial eclipse will occur at 2:36 p.m. The moon completely leaves the solar disk at 4:01 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the “path of totality,” below are events happening in the High Country.

* Safety Tip: Anyone planning to view the eclipse should wear solar viewing glasses. This protective eyewear makes it possible for viewers to look directly at the Sun before and after the totality. Regular sunglasses cannot be used. Looking directly at the Sun, even when it is partially covered by the Moon can cause serious eye damage. 

For more info about other events outside the High Country, safety tips, maps, traffic and general information about solar eclipses, click here

Lees-McRae College to Host Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on Banner Elk Campus        

On Monday, Aug. 21, Lees-McRae will hold a solar eclipse viewing party open to all students, faculty, staff and the local community on the front lawn of Tate Residence Hall.

From 12:30-4 p.m., with peak viewing time from 2-3 p.m., attendees can witness the first North American total solar eclipse since February 26, 1979. The first 250 attendees will be provided a free pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses. 

Even though Banner Elk, North Carolina, is not in the direct path of the total solar eclipse, viewers can watch a partial solar eclipse, with 96.6 percent coverage, at a peak time of 2:38 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241.

Appalachian State To Host Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on Boone Campus 

Between 1 and 4 p.m., the live feed from Sylva will be viewable from Grandfather Mountain Ballroom in the Plemmons Student Union, as well as on the College of Arts and Sciences website at cas.appstate.edu/eclipse. Also in this room, faculty member Dr. Courtney McGahee will set up a portable planetarium. A planetarium is a theatre-style dome built to present a projection of stars, planets and other celestial objects that can be made to appear and move realistically to simulate the night sky. These opportunities will be available rain or shine.

On Sanford Mall, faculty from physics and astronomy – including Dr. Michael Briley, Dr. Brooke Hester and Ben Madison – along with their students will set up telescopes for safe solar viewing and to answer questions about the day’s event. To safely view the eclipse, the College of Arts and Sciences will be handing out solar viewing glasses to all members of the campus or community who participate.

Parking is available for community participants in the River Street Parking Deck and metered parking is available on King Street in downtown Boone. For more information about how to experience the solar eclipse, safety guidelines and additional local events before Aug. 21, visit our website www.cas.appstate.edu/eclipse.

Celebrate the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on Top of Sugar Mountain

From noon until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 Sugar Mountain Resort’s Summit Express high-speed, six-passenger lift will ferry passengers to the mountain’s 5,300’ peak to view the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, a once-in-a life-time astronomical spectacle. It is the first coast-to-coast eclipse since 1918 and will glide across 14 states, including North Carolina, in the continental U.S. along a 70-mile-wide swath.

With favorable weather, at 2:36 p.m. viewers atop Sugar Mountain will experience a spooky afternoon darkness and a drop in temperature by as much as 10 degrees. Audiences in the High Country can expect the greatest partial eclipse of 95 percent coverage.

According to NASA, those who plan to view the phenomenon should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Beverages will be for sale at the summit, and the Sugar Mountain Sports Shop will be open offering 30-60% off select items.

For lift-ride ticket prices, group rates, and other details call 800-SUGAR-MT or visitwww.skisugar.com.

The Blowing Rock Chamber is hosting a solar eclipse viewing party on the chamber lawn (or walk to Memorial Park) from 2 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. This is a BYOG (bring your own glasses) event. Sun chips, moon pies, Loni’s special solar punch will be served. It’s going to be ‘totality awesome’. 

Shop owners are invited to shut down their business for 30 minutes and join the party. The eclipse lasts about 2 minutes. The chamber also encourages folks to join members’ viewing parties such as the one at Canyon’s, App State and Grandfather Mountain. 

Solar Eclipse Party at Grandfather Mountain

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Grandfather Mountain will host a solar eclipse party on Monday, Aug. 21. 

Visit Grandfather Mountain to view one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events! The Nature Museum will host arts and crafts activities for kids, solar-themed snacks and face-painting. At 1:30 p.m., bring your solar eclipse glasses to the Mile High Swinging Bridge for an unabated view of the partial solar eclipse. The rocky summit of Grandfather Mountain is naturally devoid of trees and offers panoramic views — to infinity and beyond!

Only a limited number of solar eclipse glasses will be available for purchase on the mountain. As such, those planning to attend are encouraged to bring their own. Cost is included with the purchase of a ticket. 

Canyon’s Restaurant Viewing Party

Canyon’s restaurant in Blowing Rock is hosting a solar eclipse viewing event on Monday, Aug. 21, from 1 to 6 p.m. 

Come see the eclipse! Canyons is hosting an eclipse viewing event on Aug. 21 utilizing our wonderful deck and view. We’ll have fifty pairs of viewing glasses available free of charge for the first fifty people who come in and drink specials as well. Come join us for a once in a generation event!

Mountain Jefferson State Natural Area Eclipse Event

Join the park ranger for this unique afternoon solar eclipse program. We will enjoy the mountain’s breathtaking visits as we learn a few fun facts about the sun and the eclipse on this special day. Note: Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area is not in the path of totality for this eclipse.  2 p.m. @1st Overlook (Sunset Overlook)

Watauga County Library Viewing Party

Join us for a solar eclipse viewing party! Pick up your solar glasses at the youth services desk at 12:30 PM, then meet us on the front lawn for the beginning of the eclipse at 1:09 PM! Feel free to bring a lawn chair and food, we will hope for clear skies. There will be crafts for the kids, including creating galaxy slime.

Please note, the supply of eclipse glasses is limited. For more information, call 828-264-8784, ext. 3. 

According to High Country (http://highcountryhost.com/nc-high-country-solar-eclipse) the following are great places to view the eclipse in the High Country: