Gorges State Park hosts 3-day “Eclipse at Gorges” celebration Aug. 19-21

From event promoters:

Gorges State Park a Prime Viewing Location for Total Solar Eclipse
The Eclipse at Gorges promises exciting 3 days of entertainment and education

SAPPHIRE, NC (Tuesday, Aug. 1) – The Friends of Gorges State Park is sponsoring The Eclipse at Gorges, a 3-day celebration leading up the total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. This free, family-friendly event, hosted by Gorges State Park, promises to be an unforgettable experience for park visitors. Attracting adventure seekers and astronomy enthusiasts from all over the country, The Eclipse at Gorges will feature live music, food trucks and educational talks/hikes with Park rangers.

The solar eclipse, frequently billed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, will travel a path of totality over the entire U.S. for the first time in 99 years. Everyone in the lower 48 states will get to see at least a partial eclipse but only those in the path of totality will experience the true total solar eclipse. Residing fully within the path of totality, Gorges State Park has been identified as one of the top ten viewing locations by CNNtravel*. It is the only North Carolina State Park in the path of totality and is a center of eclipse activity.

Bob Andrews, president of the Friends of Gorges State Park, is eagerly anticipating the event. “We’re proud of the collective efforts from volunteers, friends and Park staff that are culminating in three days of events to showcase the eclipse and the park itself. Thanks to the leadership from Gorges State Park Superintendent Steve Pagano, this extraordinary event is set to exceed all expectations for visitors,” Andrews says.

Event Details:

  • Saturday, August 19, 2017, Nature Day
    State rangers and naturalists will direct hikes from the Visitors Center to specific destinations in the park. Discussions will include flora, fauna, and geology.
  • Sunday, August 20, 2017, Fun Day
    Sharon Becker, Regional Director of Interpretation and Education Programming for N.C. State Parks, will offer a hands-on educational experience about the history of eclipses in the world and the actual science behind eclipses. Curtis-Wright Falconry will offer close-up experiences, educating participants about the ancient sport of falconry. Live music will be provided by Land of Waterfalls Dulcimer Players, Blue Ridge Bakery Boys and Tina Eno Music. On-site food will be provided by Lola’s, Coffee Carts, Sugar & Snow Gelato and more. Exhibitors will include Let’s Face It – Face painting, Paintings by Sharyn, Boutique of Blue Ridge, Mud Dabbers – locally produced pottery, North Carolinas Friends of State Parks, Rosman High School Seniors, and many more.
  • Monday, August 21, 2017, Eclipse Day
    Gorges State Park will open to the public at an unprecedented 5:00 a.m. Park staff recommends that all visitors be in their selected viewing locations by 11:00 a.m. The eclipse will begin at 1:07 p.m., with totality beginning at 2:36 p.m. and lasting for over 2 minutes. The eclipse will end at 4:01 p.m.
    Safety is priority for all. Safety glasses and an informational brochure will be shared with visitors, while supplies last, as they enter the park on eclipse day. The eclipse glasses are provided by the Friends of Gorges State Park and made possible through funding from the North Carolina Friends of State Parks.

    This Eclipse at Gorges has been designated as an official 2017 Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party through a joint effort between North and South Carolina, coordinated by the Morehead Planetarium and funded by the NC Space Grant and SC Space. For more information on the eclipse parties, please visit http://moreheadplanetarium.org/eclipse.

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

Friends of Gorges, Eclipse at Gorges (http://friendsofgorges.org/eclipse-at-gorges/) Great American Eclipse (https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/) Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) (http://www.pari.edu/things-to-do/2017-eclipse/) *Where to See the Total Solar Eclipse by CNNtravel (http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/where-to- see-total-solar-eclipse-2017/index.html)

About Gorges State Park

Gorges State Park is set in Western North Carolina in the heart of the Land of Waterfalls. The gorgeous park is punctuated by plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species. Exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive, Gold Level LEED Certified visitors center with its educational exhibits, retail center, beautiful stone fireplace and unbeatable vistas. The center is surrounded by picnic areas that are perfect for a family pit-stop before hitting the trails.

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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