If you want to experience the wonder of the solar eclipse with other people, you’re in luck. The Aug. 21 event has inspired a number of viewing parties and celebrations in the Louisville area.
Some spots to watch:
1. Beckley Creek Park
A Solar Eclipse Watch Party with family-friendly crafts and activities is set for 12-4 p.m. at Beckley Creek Park. Free solar-eclipse viewing glasses will be available to the first 300 visitors. Also, interpretive rangers will be on hand to show families how to make projectors. The free event, with popcorn and water from Highview Baptist Church, will be in the PNC Achievement Center for Education & Interpretation, 1411 Beckley Creek Parkway.
2. Bernheim Forest
Bernheim Forest and Arboretum has a celebration planned from 1-4 p.m. at its Visitor Center. There will be solar-themed activities and homemade sun tea. The event is free, and glasses will be available to the first 500 visitors. Bernheim is located at 2075 Clermont Road in Clermont, Kentucky (in the Bullitt County area).
3. Big Four Lawn
For its “Kentucky’s Darkest Day” coverage, WAVE 3 News is teaming up with Alpha Media, the Louisville Astronomical Society and the Waterfront Development Corp. for an eclipse viewing event at the Big Four Lawn off River Road. The free event is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and 1,500 pairs of glasses will be distributed.
4. Churchill Downs
The Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave., is offering a Solar Eclipse Viewing Tour from 1-3 p.m. Guests will receive free eclipse viewing glasses to watch the astronomical phenomenon from the Churchill Downs infield. The adult admission price of $50 includes a behind the scenes tour of Churchill Downs and general admission to the museum, where you can learn about a famous 18th-century racehorse named Eclipse, explore two floors of exhibits and watch a movie called “The Greatest Race.” Admission is free for children younger than 5.
5. Copper & Kings
The third-floor observation deck at Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. will be open to the public for a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party from 2-4 p.m. at 1121 E. Washington St. It’s a free event with a cash bar. Free eclipse viewers will be available. There will be hour-long Solar Eclipse Distillery Tours at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. for $15 per person. You can bottle your own spirits for $50 and get a commemorative sticker.
6. Fourth Street Live
Cornhole and other games will be part of a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Fourth Street Live, 411 S. 4th St. The free event is from 12-3 p.m. Food and beverages will be sold. Fourth Street Live businesses will be distributing glasses for free (while supplies last), starting Thursday.
7. Indiana University Southeast
Looking for something to do in Southern Indiana? The IU Southeast School of Natural Sciences and Campus Activities Board will host a watch party called Throwing Shade – Solar Eclipse 2017. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be on campus from 12:59 p.m.-3:51 p.m. at McCullough Plaza, 4201 Grant Line Road in New Albany. Free glasses, moon pies and informational pamphlets will be distributed while supplies last. NASA video will stream on a monitor inside the natural sciences tent. There also will be an eclipse-themed photo booth.
8. Kentucky Science Center
From 1-3 p.m., you can gather outside the Kentucky Science Center at 727 W. Main St. to learn about eclipse safety and see models of how the eclipse works. The Louisville Astronomical Society will have a solar telescope on hand. Inside the center, a NASA feed of the eclipse will be showing in the tech forum, and an educational film, “Journey to Space,” will be playing at the theater. Movie tickets are $6-$8. General admission, which includes the NASA feed, is $13 for adults and $11 for children ages 2-12. The outdoor activities are free.
9. Kentucky State Fair
Experts from WDRB and the University of Louisville’s Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium will be on stage in the North Wing lobby at the State Fair to provide details about the eclipse and answer questions from the public from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The eclipse will be shown on a large screen in the lobby via a NASA live feed. On the same day, people will be able to take virtual tours of the universe at UofL’s portable planetarium from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The fairgrounds is located at 937 Phillips Lane. (WDRBplans to give out glasses from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the fair and to have them at the 1:30 p.m. event on eclipse day, but supplies are limited.)
10. E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
From 12-4 p.m., you can join the park staff for a free eclipse viewing party. Event-goers can make a galaxy tube, suitable for use as a necklace or key chain, for $3. Eclipse-viewing glasses will be included with the craft while supplies last. The location is 3000 Freys Hill Road, near the BMX track.
Reporter Darla Carter can be reached at (502) 582-7068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.