Innovation, some friendly neighbours and a desire not to turn away anyone interested in a safe local viewing of a near-total solar eclipse Monday morning has Osoyoos Desert Park promising to welcome anyone who shows up at their gates.
“We’re the kind of folk who want to do everything possible to welcome people to our facilities,” said Desert Park president Bruce Fuller.
“If folks are prepared to work with us a little, we’re prepared to make a full house work.”
Desert Park had set a limit of 250 attendees for its special Science of the Sun brunch and celebration, scheduled for August 21 to coincide with the Great American Solar Eclipse.
The 250-limit was based on the number of viewing glasses available to Desert Park for the event. The glasses are mandatory for a safe look at the sun.
“We’ve had a large number of people disappointed they couldn’t get tickets for the event, so we did a little research, put some minds to work and came up with some additional viewing options,” said Fuller.
Those options, he explained, include the creation of viewing cards and eclipse viewing boxes.
“Our team will be busy over the weekend putting together as many of these viewing tools as we can.”
Desert Park is also inviting anyone who has their own viewing glasses — or is prepared to make their own viewing box — to join the party.
“We may not be able to serve a big breakfast to you, but we are planning to have at least a continental offering for those who didn’t purchase tickets,” Fuller said. “And children attending can still participate in the educational component.”
Between 9 a.m. and noon on Monday, the Moon, the Sun and Earth will align in an almost perfectly straight line and the Moon will cast its shadow on Earth. From Osoyoos, it will look like the Moon has taken a 90% bite out of the Sun.
The Park’s Science of the Sun event will be especially geared to youngsters — offering a fun, affordable, educational way to fully appreciate the solar eclipse.
Admission to the event for those who haven’t already secured tickets will be by donation.
The event will result in an almost total loss of sunlight — which can cause the temperature to drop 10 or more degrees — while the change in lighting will makes shadows look sharper on the ground.
Outside of the continental United States, Osoyoos is among the very best places to view the eclipse.