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Addison County to host eclipse events

VERMONT — Don’t be left in the dark planning for the April 8 solar eclipse. 

Schools, museums, libraries, government agencies and lots of other organizations are planning events where you can participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Here are some events you might find interesting.

• The state of Vermont has established an eclipse website, with tips on viewing safety, travel alerts, and viewing or lodging options. You can also text VTECLIPSE to 888777 to sign up for text alerts regarding weather, traffic and other notable information on the weekend and day of the eclipse. Some state parks will be open for eclipse viewing and will have open gates and parking access.

• Folks in the 5-Town area: Go to Bristol’s Lawrence Memorial Library on Saturday, April 6, to pick up free solar eclipse glasses and enjoy some solar eclipse activities before the big event. Glasses will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis, with one pair per person, or three per family. Pick up will be Monday from 10 a.m.-1p.m. Plus, the library will have a special eclipse display to teach community members all about this once-in-a-lifetime event, and a family-friendly activity upstairs. To reserve your glasses, visit tinyurl.com/y2f639jn.

• The Starksboro Volunteer Fire Department will be selling T-shirts, as a fundraiser, to commemorate the solar eclipse. These t-shirts will be available for purchase at the Solar Eclipse party on April 8. The T-shirts come in child and adult sizes and sell for $15 each. Cash or check only. To order t-shirts, please send a check with your order (list the sizes you want) to Chris Runcie, 500 Parsonage Rd, Starksboro, VT 05487, and confirm with an email to [email protected]. You can also drop off your check and order at the Starksboro Town Clerk’s office during business hours. Please make checks payable to the Starksboro Fire Department Auxiliary.

  You’re invited to Monkton’s Solar Eclipse Party at the town hall on Monday, April 8, from 1-4:30 p.m. Please RSVP to help organizers better plan for the party. Please make some time to get your solar eclipse glasses, the library and the town hall have a limited number to distribute. Check out this link from the American Astronomical Society to purchase safe eclipse glasses. The event will also feature food vendors, including Queen Bee and ReMarcAble Bakery.

Middlebury Great Solar Eclipse Party: Monday, April 8, 12:30-4 p.m. at the Middlebury Rec Park near Mary Hogan School. Food trucks, games, music. Glasses available.

Eclipse Watching at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh: Monday, April 8, 1-4:30 p.m. Picnics welcome; limited glasses available.

Solar Eclipse Viewing with MALT (Middlebury Area Land Trust): Monday, April 8, 3-4 p.m. at Riverside Park in Middlebury’s Marble Works. Opportunity to be part of the Eclipse Soundscape Project. BYO glasses.

Eclipse & Pizza by the Pond: April 8, noon to 4 p.m. at Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center in Goshen. Enjoy wood-fired pizza and other bites in the lead up to the big event.

Eclipse Fun in Brandon: April 8, 2-4 p.m. at Estabrook Park. Kids games, Nerf Battle, eclipse viewing.

The Champlain Philharmonic will perform “In the Key of Spring” during the pre-eclipse weekend — at the Congregational Church of Middlebury on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.; and again on Sunday, April 7, at 4 p.m., at Rutland’s Grace Congregational Church. These concerts will feature the spectacular Organ Symphony No. 3 in C Minor by Camille Saint Saëns and two humorous short pieces; one by the infamous “de-composer” PDQ Bach (aka Peter Schickele) and the other Vermont pianist and composer David Feurzeig with his ragtime arrangement of Stravinski’s Rite of Spring. More info here.

• Here’s a reminder that April 8 will be an early release day in the Addison Central School District, recognizing that parts of the seven-town ACSD will be in total darkness at around 3:30 p.m., and Route 7 is expected to be busy with tourists visiting our area to take in the eclipse. ACSD schools will follow their usual early release schedule. 

Salisbury 4th-grade teacher Amy Clapp and colleagues across ACSD schools are planning fun eclipse activities for PreK-12 students, leading up to the eclipse. There will be eclipse glasses available for every ACSD student; these will be sent home closer to the event. 

• The Bixby Library in Vergennes is preparing its own plans leading up to the solar eclipse. On Saturday March 23, at 11 a.m., there’ll be an Eclipse Party for Kids, with information on moon craters, a solar telescope demonstration, and a “corona craft.” On Saturday, March 30, at noon, there’ll be a solar telescope and sun spotter demonstration. On Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m., the Last Chance Solar Eclipse Program will offer a variety of activities and information on how to safely view the eclipse. Free eclipse sunglasses are available to library card holders (limit three per family.) Here’s more information on these fun and informative eclipse events.

• The Green Mountain Club (GMC), which manages 500 miles of hiking trails in Vermont, is concerned about people who are planning on viewing the eclipse from a wilderness location. Hiking, the club cautions, is a potential problem for several reasons, and out-of-state visitors in particular might not be ready for dangerous winter conditions at elevation. Also, state emergency resources will be taxed, and hiking is discouraged during the spring mud season, with many trails on state land closed to protect vulnerable environments. So GMC is encouraging eclipse viewers to avoid the backcountry and stick to organized viewing events in towns, cities and parks for their safety.

Art on Main in Bristol will host a “Totality Eclipse/Earth Day” combined exhibit from April 5-27. This is a non-juried exhibit; all work relating to the topics accepted — both 2-D and 3-D. The 2-D submissions must be ready to hang. There is a $5 entrance fee, and artists receive 80% of the sale price. Bring one piece of art to 25 Main St., Bristol, by April 2; include your entrance fee. Gallery hours in April are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Direct any questions to [email protected] or call 802-453-4032.

Solar Eclipse Festival at ECHO: Friday through Sunday, April 5-7, with a viewing of the eclipse on April 8, at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. Take part in family-friendly, hands-on activities to learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event. Glasses provided with admission.

WHERE TO GET GLASSES

Middlebury Area Land Trust is providing solar eclipse glasses for purchase at the Middlebury Shop, Middlebury Mountaineer, Frog Hollow Bikes, The Vermont Book Shop and Sweet Cecily.

Ilsley Public Library, Orwell Free Library and Bristol’s Lawrence Memorial Library are giving out glasses for free (first come, first serve).

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