August 21 will be the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse’s path will cover the entire United States. The “band of totality” (the shadow of the moon as it completely covers the sun) is only 70 miles wide and is far west of the Triad. However, in Greensboro, for example, the eclipse will be at 93.76 percent so it will seem almost total.
Obviously, all you have to do it step outside to see the eclipse, but below are some fun places to watch the eclipse in the Piedmont Triad (note: Columbia, South Carolina, has been named one of the Top 10 places in the country to watch the eclipse).
In the Piedmont Triad, the eclipse begins at 1:12 p.m. with peak coverage at 2:41-2:43 p.m.
FOX8 will begin on-air coverage at 2 p.m. (the newscast and eclipse will also both be live-streamed at myfox8.com.
Center City Park (downtown Greensboro), March for Science Greensboro. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. Music and hands-on activities. March for Science Greensboro partners for the eclipse viewing event are Greensboro Central Library, Greensboro Children’s Museum, Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro Cultural Center, Greensboro Science Café, Heads Up for Our Youth, Lindley Park Neighborhood Association and Reconsidered Goods.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (408 Bellemeade St.) 1:13 p.m. (gates open at noon). First 2,500 people receive eclipse glasses.
Greensboro Science Center (4301 Lawndale Drive) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hands-on activities, including gazing through a real solar telescope. Live stream of the eclipse will be shown, courtesy of NASA, in the OmniSphere theater. Outdoor activities are free; live streaming in the OmniSphere is included with GSC membership or general admission purchase.
High Point Public Library (901 N. Main Street). 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Viewing will be on the Sunset Drive side of the building, and a special area will be made available for photographers to set up their equipment. The first 200 people will receive free solar eclipse sunglasses. The event is free. No registration required.
Boones Cave (3552 Boones Cave Road) noon to 4 p.m. Free solar glasses and a 3-acre field for viewing. Bring chairs. Call to register and reserve your glasses. 336-752-2322.
City of Lexington
The City of Lexington will hold a viewing event at the Breeden Insurance Amphitheater (333 S. Main Street, Lexington) from 1 to 4 p.m. Kids can make their own pinhole projector, and free eclipse glasses will be provided (while supplies last).
The Rockingham County Public Libraries in Eden, Reidsville, Madison and Stoneville will hold eclipse viewing events at 1:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and solar viewing glasses. While supplies last, first come/first-served, free solar viewing glasses will be available, starting August 2, at Rockingham County Public Library branches. Anyone who wishes to have a pair must sign a liability waiver form, parents signing for their children age 18 and under.
Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park (3042 Frank Pkwy, Roaring Gap, NC) – 1 p.m. Meet a ranger for a 30-minute talk on the solar eclipse. Start location:
Field between campsites 33 and 34 in the A Loop of the Family Campground.
Kaleideum North (400 W. Hanes Mill Road). The “party” will feature science demonstration, crafts, special Planetarium shows, and professional telescopes for “safe sun viewing.” Bring your own cereal box to make a solar eclipse viewer to take home. All activities are included with museum admission and free for members. A food truck will be available for lunch purchases. The first 100 attendees for the 11 a.m. Planetarium show will receive a free pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses.
Bonus: Gorges State Park, North Carolina
The only North Carolina state park in the path of totality, Gorges State Park will open at 5 a.m. — two hours early — to accommodate day-trippers who want to stake out prime viewing spots. Park rangers recommend arriving by 11 a.m. at the latest.
Home to beautiful and rugged river gorges (hence the name), waterfalls and rock walls, the 7,500-acre park will host food trucks and music performances on August 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (There’s also a family fun eclipse day scheduled for August 20, the day before the eclipse.)
Where to buy eclipse glasses
- Best Buy
- Casey’s General Store
- Circle K
- Hobby Town
- London Drugs
- Love’s Travel Stops
- McDonald’s (Oregon only)
- Pilot/Flying J
- Toys “R” Us
The American Astronomical Society says scammers are now printing ISO logo and certification labels on fake eclipse glasses. As a result, AAS says you should only buy from these companies:
- American Paper Optics (Eclipser) / EclipseGlasses.com
- APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)*
- Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film only)
- Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)
- DayStar (Solar Glasses)
- Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)
- Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses) [see their unique kid-size eclipse glasses]
- Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)
- Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)
- Seymour Solar (Helios Glasses)
- Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)
- TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)*