After the long wait, total eclipse upon us

It’s been almost three years since Laurens County was able to experience a partial solar eclipse, and the one in October, 2014 offered only a slight darkening of the afternoon’s light as opposed to the total darkness that will cover Laurens County skies Monday.
The eclipse will begin darkening the skies at 1:10 p.m. in Clinton, according to Julius Nfor, a physics professor from Clinton who teaches at North Greenville University.
The total eclipse will last 2 minutes, 26 seconds, from 2:39 to 2:41 p.m. The end of the partial eclipse will take place at 4:04 p.m., so the entire experience will last about 3 hours, Nfor said.
The total solar eclipse disrupts the normal rhythms of the earth, and the sudden blocking of the sun causes the temperature to drop, and if viewers are in a quiet, natural setting, birds and animals can begin reacting as if night is approaching.
While some county residents will prefer getting their safe-viewing glasses early and remaining home for the rare total eclipse, there will be plenty of activities drawing county residents and visitors to gather together.
The path of totality is directly over the town limits of Waterloo and Cross Hill, so Camp Fellowship is equipped as a viewing location and various Lake Greenwood boating groups and other campgrounds are planning viewing events.
Free public events are occurring in Fountain Inn, Laurens and Clinton. Area businesses have also been promoting their eclipse offerings and special viewing parties.
Laurens County Library will offer a NASA feed and viewing space on its spacious lawn at 1017 West Main Street, Laurens, and it welcomes visitors and lawn chairs.
A NASA live feed will also be set up at The Depot in Clinton, where the city is planning Total Eclipse on the Rails from 1-5 p.m. for residents that includes music, refreshments and goodies, a chalk wall and “Moon” rock painting station. Clinton also will has commemorative t-shirts and posters for sale.
The City of Fountain Inn is hosting an Area 44 Eclipse Party at Woodside Park, offering free refreshments, a D.J. and cornhole and other games and activities and several food trucks.
Several locations will be offering a very limited number of free safe-viewing glasses. On Monday, limited numbers of glasses will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Laurens County Library and the Clinton’s festival.
School children across the county will have the option of leaving early, by 1 p.m., with family members or staying at the schools, which are all providing safe-viewing activities for students.

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