Photo by Bulletin graphics
On Aug. 21, an eclipse of the sun will occur throughout the United States.Every part of the U.S. including Hawaii and Alaska will see a partial eclipse, but in a narrow band (approximately 70 miles wide) from Oregon through Nebraska to South Carolina, people will witness a total eclipse.
It's an exceedingly rare sight. The total eclipse happens about once in about every 375 years in a given location.
Stapleton, Arnold and Tryon are in the midpoint of the zone. The closer to the exact center line, the longer the period of totality. At Stapleton, the period of totality will be 2 minutes and 34 seconds, beginning at 12:54 pm CDT. That's one of the longest time periods in the United States.
It will be like nothing you have ever seen before. Day turns to an eerie twilight, there is a ‘hole in the sky,’ and bright stars and planets appear overhead.
It is something that can hardly be described — best seen with one’s own eyes. Plants and animals act as though it were nightfall. Flowers close up. Birds return to their roosts.
The air gets chilly because the temperature drops a dozen degrees or more and stays that way for two and half minutes.
As totality ends, a brilliant burst of sunlight appears along the edge of the sun. This is a “diamond ring effect.” The sun’s corona and sunburst look like a spectacular celestial engagement ring.
If you can, get to a place of totality. You will be glad you did.
At Stapleton, we are planning several events through the eclipse weekend. There will be a craft fair from Saturday-Monday, about a block north of the business district.
There will be a street dance on Saturday night from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. featuring “Finaleyes” from Denver on Main Street, with a beer garden at the Stapleton Vets Club.
On Sunday, Aug. 20, the following events will be held at the Logan County Fairgrounds:
• 8-9:20 a.m. — breakfast by the area churches
• 9:30-10:30 a.m. — cowboy church service
• 7-9 p.m. — local entertainment at the arena grandstands
• Dusk — an eclipse presentation by eclipse chaser Derryl Barr, plus stargazing after the presentation by several amateur astronomers who are coming to Stapleton to watch the eclipse.
On Monday, the fairgrounds will open at 8 a.m. for eclipse viewers. The cost will be $10/person. Each viewer will receive a pair of certified eclipse glasses, a token for a bottle of water and a souvenir badge. There will be free parking. There will be vendors on site, with acoustic music by George Lauby & John Martin of North Platte.
Astronomers will be set up and the public can look through their telescopes.
An “after the eclipse bash” from 3-6 p.m. with music and a beer garden will be held on main street in front of the Vets Club, with pulled pork sandwiches. Antique cars and tractors will be on display.
There will be a “meet and greet” at the community center and more events are in the planning stage.
We are looking for volunteers to help us with our events on Monday. If you are willing to help post signs, set up tents and water stations, take tickets and keep the area clean, we provide free entry to the fairgrounds, viewing glasses, water and badge.
If you want to help, please contact me, Gary Johnsen, at (308) 636-8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.