Why Aiken is the Place to be for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Why Aiken is the Place to be for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

It’s never too early to start planning! Save the date for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017.  For the first time in 38 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the continental United States. What’s so exciting is the path of totality runs diagonally across the country from Oregon ending in South Carolina. With viewing parties, events, and plenty of open space there's no better place to witness this phenomenon than Aiken, SC.  Here's what to expect from the Great American Eclipse in Aiken this summer.

1. The City of Aiken will have 99.9% totality (meaning all but .01% of the sun will be covered by the moon), and just 10 miles down the road you will be in the path of totality. Aiken will essentially go from sunshine to darkness in the middle of the day. Info is below on all the places just outside of town to view the phenomenon. https://rpsec.usca.edu/Events/Eclipse/SolarEclipse2017.html

Photo Credit: @SolarEclipseEarth

2. Aiken is not a big city (in fact when people describe Aiken the top word you'll hear is charming) so the darkness will be even more dramatic without light pollution.

Photo Credit: @gravatt

3. The full eclipse will last almost 2 full minutes in eastern Aiken County and 2 full minutes and 4 seconds at Camp Gravatt where an incredible viewing event, Total Eclipse of the Pines, will be held just 10 minutes down the road, you’ll be able to see the total eclipse.

4. There are plenty of places in Aiken to purchase your Eclipse Viewers so you can observe the eclipse safely. Glasses come folded inside a special envelope with important eclipse information. They are sold at The Science Store (at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center), USC Aiken Bookstore, Aiken County Tourism Center, Aiken Ophthalmology, Aiken Railroad Depot gift shop, Odell Weeks Recreation Center, Pitter Patter, and Screenprint Factory. Solar Eclipse T-shirts can be ordered and purchased at DuPont Planetarium, USCA book store, and Pitter Patter (children's sizes of eclipse t- shirts). Grab a glow-in-the dark one!

5. Downtown Aiken will be in the ‘diamond stage of the eclipse’ for much longer than anywhere else… therefore we like to think of Aiken as the ‘jewel of the eclipse’.

Photo Credit: @wood47

6. The Total Eclipse of the Pines in Aiken will be the event to attend, hosting a viewing party with fun events such as canoeing, zip lining, pony rides and more. Make plans today and book a hotel for an overnight stay.

Photo Credit: @gravatt

7. Aiken County schools are closed on August 21 due to traffic, eclipse parties, and events. How exciting does that sound? When schools are closed for this event, then you know this is a phenomenon!

8. The state of South Carolina won't see another total eclipse of this magnitude until 2078! 

9. Lodging is still available, and Aiken is home to world renowned accommodations, so book fast! Visit here.

10. There’s a good chance it will be sunny. Aiken has on average 216 days of sunshine per year. In contrast, the eclipse begins in Salem, Oregon, a city that receives just 154 sunny days per year.

Photo Credit: @kristophernoah

11. Inspiring planetarium shows related to the eclipse will be presented at the DuPont Planetarium leading up to the eclipse. Visit the website for the planetarium details and a schedule.

12. Fun fact: The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from the United States, Jimmy Carter was president; and Sony introduced a new music portable player, The Walkman. Clearly, you need to have a great view of this rare event.

Make this summer a unique one by witnessing this rare phenomenon! It’s a must-do for your bucket list. Start planning today for a life-changing moment! 

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