Partying under a moon shadow

They came to Kennett Square's Anson B. Nixon Park by the hundreds to experience one of nature's most impressive events, a total solar eclipse. The big event was seen across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. And folks in the Brandywine Valley weren't going to be left out.

For one, a full welding shield seemed to work.

It turned into a festive event with beach balls and Hula Hoops, and total strangers sharing highly sought-after eclipse viewing glasses.

Kevin McCann, of Kennett Square, tries watching the eclipse with a homemade pinhole box.

The Kennett Library organized the viewing event, but as an afterthought and without realizing the interest.

"At first we thought it would just be cool to give out some viewing glasses," said library Program Director Alex Caliva. "We gave some out; then we thought to use the park because that's where most people would go to watch. Then we thought about having some games. Then we started getting more and more and more phone calls every day until calls were coming in every few minutes with two people taking phone calls for viewing glasses."

Unfortunately, he said, the library only had 130 to give out and had to have people take numbers for them to be handed out shortly before the eclipse. But those who had them offered to share them with anyone who wanted to view the event safely. Other people brought with them, and shared, welder's glasses and pinhole boxes.

Watching safely.

Mike Barrick, of Kennett Square, brought the family to the park so the kids could see "an epic event." Natalie Ely brought her kids because "It's the experience of a lifetime, just an awesome experience for the kids."

Kevin McCann, of Kennett Square, had no glasses but came prepared with four pinhole boxes he had made from shoeboxes.

Killing time before the big event.

While the northeast was not in the path of the totality of the event, so no major darkness or moon shadow was seen, people were still impressed, especially some of the youngsters a group of Cub Scouts from Pack 191 in Avondale.

Pre-eclipse playtime.

"It was great. The moon covered the whole sun," said Colton, age 9.

Six-year-old Jack was more picturesque. "It was very good when the sun flipped over and looked like a frowny-face."

The sun was the only "frowny-face" in the park Monday afternoon, and Caliva was glad.

"We were worried because there weren't enough glasses to go around, but people shared. It caused people to reach out to one another.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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