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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Solar eclipse community viewing party on April 8

By Theresa Knapp 

Various town entities are joining together to sponsor an official Solar Eclipse Community Viewing Party on Monday, April 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., on the Hopedale Community House Lawn. 

The eclipse is expected to start around 2:15 p.m., reach full totality at 3:29 p.m., and end around 4:40 p.m. All times are weather permitting. 

The event is sponsored by the Bancroft Memorial Library, Friends of the Hopedale Library, Hopedale Council on Aging, Hopedale Community House, and Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. 

Bancroft Memorial Library Director Tricia Perry is hoping 500 or more people gather together to witness the event. She hopes the close proximity of the Council on Aging building and the serendipitous dismissal time of nearby schools will entice people to congregate in the center of town. 

“The Community House lawn is located just across the street from the Library and has a great deal of open space that will allow for great viewing opportunities, and will allow the option of sharing the solar glasses from the SEAL [Solar Eclipse for Libraries] grant with a large group – and hopefully give everyone who attends the event an opportunity to actively participate in this amazing activity,” Perry said. 

Last year, in anticipation of the eclipse, the library submitted a grant request for 500 pairs of ISO Certified Solar Eclipse Glasses. Those glasses will be available for the April eclipse. And, Perry says, if the supply runs out, people gathered on the lawn can share with their neighbor. 

“Without the glasses it is impossible to comprehend the magnitude of the occasion,” said Perry, recalling the first time she witnessed a solar eclipse. It was 2017, and she was the director of the Westwood Public Library where she organized a similar community event. “We had over 400 participants and it was an incredible day! It was the first time I had ever viewed a solar eclipse in real life, and watching that unfold and being able to actually see what was happening in real time with the solar eclipse glasses, was truly something spectacular...And from first-hand experience, I can attest that being able to actually look at the sun is an awesome and singularly memorable experience that will last a lifetime.”