Watching the eclipse in Union

By: By Charles Warner - [email protected]
Charles Warner | The Union Times Gracie Burrell and Kirsten Templeton watch the solar eclipse from one of the benches along Main Street in downtown Union Monday afternoon. They were among the many people who donned eclipse viewing glasses to watch the total eclipse of the sun from a variety of locations in Union including the Union County Carnegie Library, First Baptist Church, and along Main Street. Union was one of the areas of the county to experience a total eclipse of the sun.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Street lights along Main Street, headlights in passing vehicles, and lights in building along the street began coming on as Monday’s afternoon’s solar eclipse reached its totality, briefing plunging the City of Union into darkness. Union was one of the areas of Union County to experience a total eclipse of the sun in which the moon covers the entirety of the sun except for its tenuous atmosphere called the corona.
Charles Warner | The Union Times This is just one small section of the line of people who turned out for the “Eclipse Watch Party” hosted by the Union County Carnegie Library Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Elise Ashby (left) of the Union County Carnegie Library Board and Union County Carnegie Library Assistant Director Taylor Atkinson (right) hand out eclipse viewing glasses to people attending the library’s “Eclipse Watch Party” Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.

UNION — Many Union residents and visitors from other states stood along Main Street and other places throughout the city looking into the sky Monday as the moon moved between the sun and the earth and briefly plunged the city into darkness.

Much of Union County was in the path of a solar eclipse that occurred along a swath of the United States of American Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Depending on where you were in Union County as the event took place, you either experienced a partial eclipse when the moon passed between the sun and the earth and only part of the sun was covered or you experience a total eclipse when all of the sun but it’s corona, it’s tenuous atmosphere, was blocked from view.

The county’s being in the path of the eclipse has lead some institutions to announce plans to close for part of the afternoon while others will be hosting viewing parties of the event. Union County Schools were closed Monday while other institutions such as the City of Union Municipal Building, the Union County Courthouse and county recycling convenience centers, the office of Broad River Electric Cooperative, Arthur State Bank, and Park Sterling Bank were closed for part of the afternoon.

While some institutions were closed for all or part of the day, one that definitely wasn’t was the Union County Carnegie Library which hosted an “Eclipse Watch Party” on the library lawn from 1-4 p.m.

The Eclipse Watch Party drew a large crowd which began lining up around the library well before 1 p.m. so as to get the eclipse viewing glasses the library was distributing on a first come, one per person basis; enjoy the refreshments that were also being distributed for the event; and a find a good place to sit and view the eclipse. The distribution of glasses and refreshments began at 1 p.m. and continued well into the afternoon as a seemingly never ending line of local residents and visitors, some of them from other states, waited to get the glasses that would enable them to safely view the eclipse.

Despite the crowd and the accompanying traffic, Library Director Rieta Drinkwine said that the event went quite well.

“We were happy to see all those people enjoying the event,” Drinkwine said Tuesday. “We were pleased to see so many out of town people. We had people from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. We had at least 650 people on the property. We handed out more than 550 pairs of glasses at the event.”

The library began distributing eclipse viewing glasses in the weeks leading up to Monday’s event. Drinkwine said that the library had distributed some 3,200 glasses to the community including employees of the City of Union and Union County.

Refreshments distributed at the Eclipse Watch Party included cookies, chips, moon pies, hot dogs, and drinks which Drinkwine said were donated by the Friends of the Library and the Woodmen of the World. Drinkwine said the event was also sponsored by Sonoco and the Union County Historical Society. She said the refreshments and the glasses were handed out by library staff and Friends of the Library volunteers.

“We really appreciate the support of our staff, volunteers and sponsors,” Drinkwine said. “They made all this possible.”

First Baptist

Another institution that was open for the eclipse was First Baptist Church on Main Street which hosted an Eclipse Party.

Daniel Prince is the church’s Music Director and works with the Children’s Ministry, and he and many other members of the church were quite busy serving the larger than expected crowd that turned out for the party.

“We had 150 people come out, including people from North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland,” Prince said Tuesday. “We planned on 90-100 but it exceeded what we were planning and that’s always good.”

Prince said the church rented the Baptist Association’s Block Party trailer which enabled it to provide an inflatable bounce house and inflatable slide for the children in attendance to enjoy. There were also games and church members grilled hot dogs, popped pop corn, and made sno cones which they served along with drinks to those attending the party.

Monday afternoon was hot and as the afternoon progressed clouds formed in the sky threatening to obscure the eclipse, especially the totality, but Prince said those attending were not deterred by this and were able to enjoy the eclipse and a brief view of the totality.

“It was really hot, but everybody seemed to have a good time,” Prince said. “The Lord blessed us with eight seconds to view the totality before it went behind a cloud.”

Viewing parties of the solar eclipse were also held at the Union County Airport and at the Cross Keys House. For more on the eclipse in Union County see upcoming editions of The Union Times and on our website (www.uniondailytimes.com) and our Facebook page.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Gracie Burrell and Kirsten Templeton watch the solar eclipse from one of the benches along Main Street in downtown Union Monday afternoon. They were among the many people who donned eclipse viewing glasses to watch the total eclipse of the sun from a variety of locations in Union including the Union County Carnegie Library, First Baptist Church, and along Main Street. Union was one of the areas of the county to experience a total eclipse of the sun.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1579.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Gracie Burrell and Kirsten Templeton watch the solar eclipse from one of the benches along Main Street in downtown Union Monday afternoon. They were among the many people who donned eclipse viewing glasses to watch the total eclipse of the sun from a variety of locations in Union including the Union County Carnegie Library, First Baptist Church, and along Main Street. Union was one of the areas of the county to experience a total eclipse of the sun.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Street lights along Main Street, headlights in passing vehicles, and lights in building along the street began coming on as Monday’s afternoon’s solar eclipse reached its totality, briefing plunging the City of Union into darkness. Union was one of the areas of Union County to experience a total eclipse of the sun in which the moon covers the entirety of the sun except for its tenuous atmosphere called the corona.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1588.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Street lights along Main Street, headlights in passing vehicles, and lights in building along the street began coming on as Monday’s afternoon’s solar eclipse reached its totality, briefing plunging the City of Union into darkness. Union was one of the areas of Union County to experience a total eclipse of the sun in which the moon covers the entirety of the sun except for its tenuous atmosphere called the corona.

Charles Warner | The Union Times This is just one small section of the line of people who turned out for the “Eclipse Watch Party” hosted by the Union County Carnegie Library Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1545.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times This is just one small section of the line of people who turned out for the “Eclipse Watch Party” hosted by the Union County Carnegie Library Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Elise Ashby (left) of the Union County Carnegie Library Board and Union County Carnegie Library Assistant Director Taylor Atkinson (right) hand out eclipse viewing glasses to people attending the library’s “Eclipse Watch Party” Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1555.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Elise Ashby (left) of the Union County Carnegie Library Board and Union County Carnegie Library Assistant Director Taylor Atkinson (right) hand out eclipse viewing glasses to people attending the library’s “Eclipse Watch Party” Monday afternoon. An estimated 650 people turned out for the event which was held on the library’s lawn. Library staff and volunteers distributed more than 550 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to those attending Monday’s event. Refreshments were also served to those attending the watch party.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Marlene Rhinehart and her niece, Jeri Lynn Whitefield, watch Monday’s solar eclipse from the lawn of First Baptist Church in Union. They were among the 150 people to attend the church’s “Eclipse Party.” During the party church members served up hot dogs, popcorn, sno cones, and drinks to those attending as well distributing eclipse viewing glasses.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1578.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Marlene Rhinehart and her niece, Jeri Lynn Whitefield, watch Monday’s solar eclipse from the lawn of First Baptist Church in Union. They were among the 150 people to attend the church’s “Eclipse Party.” During the party church members served up hot dogs, popcorn, sno cones, and drinks to those attending as well distributing eclipse viewing glasses.

Charles Warner | The Union Times This inflatable slide was one of the fun things to do during First Baptist Church’s “Eclipse Party” Monday afternoon. In addition to the slide, the part featured an inflatable bounce house, games, food, and free eclipse viewing glasses. Approximately 150 people attended the party which hosted by the church in celebration of the solar eclipse which occurred that afternoon.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1568.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times This inflatable slide was one of the fun things to do during First Baptist Church’s “Eclipse Party” Monday afternoon. In addition to the slide, the part featured an inflatable bounce house, games, food, and free eclipse viewing glasses. Approximately 150 people attended the party which hosted by the church in celebration of the solar eclipse which occurred that afternoon.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Ready to watch Monday’s solar eclipse were (back) Brandy Smallwood, Keith Ivey, (middle) Jeryle Smallwood, Amber Ivey, Gabrielle Shetley, (front) Addison Ivey, and Peyton Ivey. They were among a number of people who lined Main Street to view the solar eclipse. All were wearing eclipse viewing glasses to protect their eyes from the rays of the sun. Union was one of the areas of Union County that experienced a total eclipse of the sun Monday afternoon.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_IMG_1581.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Ready to watch Monday’s solar eclipse were (back) Brandy Smallwood, Keith Ivey, (middle) Jeryle Smallwood, Amber Ivey, Gabrielle Shetley, (front) Addison Ivey, and Peyton Ivey. They were among a number of people who lined Main Street to view the solar eclipse. All were wearing eclipse viewing glasses to protect their eyes from the rays of the sun. Union was one of the areas of Union County that experienced a total eclipse of the sun Monday afternoon.
Moon casts brief shadow over city

By Charles Warner

[email protected]

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.