On Monday, August 21, Missourians will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1869. (And for St. Louisans, it is the first total solar eclipse since 1442!) As the moon’s shadow sweeps across our beloved state at an average speed of 1481 mph, those in the line of totality will experience complete darkness as the moon passes between the sun and the earth.
This once-in-a-lifetime event will bring people to Missouri from all over the world so make sure you’re prepared with a plan of where to go, when you’re going, and most importantly be sure you have solar eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.
Even though St. Louis City is about three miles north of the path of totality, the Gateway Arch Park Foundation has partnered with Schnucks to host a FREE partial solar eclipse viewing party at Luther Ely Square with the Gateway Arch as the backdrop! From 12 to 2 p.m. there will be food trucks, solar eclipse cookies fresh from the Schnucks Bakery and FREE solar eclipse viewing glasses – so grab your lunch and settle in for a celebration you won’t want to miss.
Note: Solar eclipse glasses can be picked up at select Schnucks stores for free.
Eight SLCL branches are hosting FREE solar eclipse watch parties, and also will be handing out free eclipse glasses while supplies last. Be sure to check out your local branch’s website for information on location and time.
NOTE: Some locations require registration.
Up for travelling a little south for the eclipse? DeSoto, Missouri, is directly on the path of the eclipse and will experience the longest duration of totality (2 minutes and 40 seconds). For $20/person, you can celebrate at LaChance Vineyards – but be sure to purchase tickets in advance and plan for traffic as you head down!
For those suburban folks hoping to catch a glimpse of the eclipse between carpool routes, stop by Bluebird Park between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Complete with music, free eclipse glasses, food and other activities, Bluebird Park will receive 1 minute and 50 seconds of totality.
The Saint Louis Science Center sits just 2,000 feet away from the totality line, but that won’t stop them from celebrating with day-long demonstrations, solar observing, food and more. Explore how the sun, earth and moon align to create an eclipse with Planetarium educators as they narrate the events in the sky. Admission, as always, is free.