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Middlebury preps for today’s eclipse

As the moon and sun organize themselves for the eclipse on Monday, the town of Middlebury wants to ensure its efforts are just as well organized. Interim Emergency Management Director Tom Hanley released the following message on the eclipse:

Traffic Congestion and Soft, Squishy Surfaces

As though mother nature is pointing a spotlight toward Vermont, most of the eclipse corridor from southwest Texas to New York west of the Adirondacks is forecast to experience considerable cloud cover, with random breaks. The big clear spot is eastern New York, VERMONT, New Hampshire and Maine. The ramification of this, of course, is that eclipse followers are descending on northern New England (to wit: Vermont).

Expect heavier than usual traffic, perhaps akin to a Phish concert. Expect travel delays. There is a great chance to exercise patience and consideration toward fellow “umbraphiles,” “shadow chasers” and “lovers of the shadow.” We ask people to please consider surface conditions prior to glancing skyward- the recent snow event has left our gravel roads soft and wet. Creek Road and Three Mile Bridge Road may have to be closed due to anticipated high water from snowmelt. Avoid Munger Street, Happy Valley Road, Cobble Road as viewing spots to avoid damaging the road surface. High Street between Route 7 and Stewart Lane will be closed to through traffic as will Springside Drive.

We ask viewers not to block travel lanes, and be considerate of resident’s property — unpaved roadsides will be soft and easily damaged. Avoid parking on private property without permission.

As has been stated previously, ensure your vehicles are topped off with fuel (gas or electric) as movement in and out of the Northeast may be hampered by congestion; keep your cell phones charged.

Middlebury police officers will be posted throughout the town to ensure emergency routes remain open. Their priority is public safety and emergency response.

Follow townofmiddlebury.org for more information on scheduled events and updated bulletins.

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Separately, Vermont Sen. Peter Welch shared these solar eclipse viewing safety tips from NASA:

  • View the sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.
  • Always inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use; if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device. Always supervise children using solar viewers.
  • Do NOT look at the sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury.
  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the sun’s bright face — during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)
  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the sun.
  • Even during a partial or annular eclipse, or during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the sun will be very bright. If you are watching an entire eclipse, you may be in direct sunlight for hours. Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to prevent skin damage. Find more sun safety tipsfrom the U.S. Food and Drug Administration here.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

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The Better Middlebury Partnership is alerting the public to some local events, and the status of store openings. Below are some Middlebury Solar Eclipse related events. Stroll around town and check out other open local shops and dining available on April 8, too!

Public Viewing Events

Great Middlebury Solar Eclipse

April 8, 2024: 12:30-4pm at the Middlebury Rec Park Fields (located at 277 Mary Hogan Drive Middlebury, VT 05753)

– Please join us for an eclipse viewing experience with Food Trucks, Disc Golf, Mini Ramp, Pump Track, Music and Games!

-Please ensure you use eclipse safety glasses when viewing this event. Glasses are for purchase in various town shops and will be available through the Ilsley Public library the weekend before the eclipse.

Hosted by Middlebury Parks and Recreation and Town of Brandon Parks and Recreation. In Partnership with Ilsley Public Library, Brandon Free Library, Better Middlebury Partnership, Addison Central School District and Middlebury Elementary School Organization.

Solar Eclipse Viewing

April 8, 3pm-4pm at the MarbleWorks by the waterfall (Maple Street Middlebury, VT 05753)

– This event will be a viewing space with eclipse information and the opportunity to be part of the Eclipse Soundscape – a citizen science endeavor focused on recording changes in the soundscape during an eclipse.

– The hosts would like to remind you to bring eclipse viewing safety glasses. Glasses will be for sale at various shops in town and provided for free at this event.

-Check for more details at https://www.maltvt.org/events/solar-eclipse.org

Food and Beverage

Mister Up’s Restaurant– open for normal operating hours 11:30am-9pm

25 Bakery Lane

Middlebury VT 05753

(802)388-6724

 

Green Pepper’s Restaurant– open for takeout only 10:30am-7pm

10 Washington Street

Middlebury VT 05753

(802) 388-3164

 

Little Seed Coffee Roasters-Open for Coffee 8am-4pm

24 Merchants Row

Middlebury VT 05753

 

Shops

Sweet Cecily

42 Main Street

Middlebury VT 05753

(802)388-3353

– open the day of the eclipse and is stocked with cool eclipse related stuff, including tote bags, t-shirts, pottery, stickers and more for purchase!

– The shop will be close their doors during the eclipse to witness the event from their store front!

 

Vermont’s Own Gifts and Goods– Open until the time of the eclipse

64 Main Street

Middlebury VT 05753

(802) 388-7711

 

The Vermont Book Shop– open on April 7th, but closed April 8th

38 Main Street

Middlebury, VT 05753

(802)989-6719

 

Parlour Salon

57 Main Street

Middlebury VT 05753

(802) 989-4993

– Opening 10am and staying open during the eclipse!

– Offering eclipse earrings created by a local artist!

 

Middleton Vermont

66 Main Street

Middlebury VT 05753

(802) 989-5936

– Clothing & Lifestyle Boutique will be open during the eclipse

– Stop in before for an eclipse ready look and possible day of event!

 

Eclipse Safety Glasses

Ensure you use eclipse safety glasses when viewing this event, even if it is a cloudy day. Glasses are being sold in many local shops in town. The Addison Central School District will be providing a pair to each student the day of the event.

 

Vermont State Information and Resources:

– Please refer www.vermont.gov/eclipse for more information on the eclipse throughout the state.

– Receive updates from the State of Vermont by texting VTECLIPSE to 888777

– Follow #VTEclipse on social media

– Follow @511VT on X or visit newengland511.org for real-time traffic updates

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