River Valley gears up for solar eclipse

by | Feb 21, 2024

Residents urged to check schedules as Upper St. John River municipalities plan multiple events

As April and the total solar eclipse it brings with it approaches, all eyes are turning towards New Brunswick.

 The eclipse promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with another not happening in eastern Canada for 56 years.

Hotels, like Woodstock’s Best Western to the Florenceville Inn, are sold out and, in some cases, are overbooked with those travelling to watch the meteorological event.

The need for rooms has grown to such an extent that some local homes have even begun renting out rooms in advance.

The District of Carleton North offers significant eclipse-related events, including Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield serving as the keynote speaker, with James Mullinger as the opening act, at the Northern Carleton Civic Centre.

Tickets cost $75 for general admission and $246 for a VIP ticket.

The event is expected to begin at approximately 5 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. on April 8, with a meet and greet running from 9 to 10 p.m. for those who bought a VIP ticket.

“Before the event, we will be having a live stream of the Ballon solar eclipse project,” says Sharon Johnson, Tourism, heritage, and culture manager.

The balloon eclipse project is a plan where a weather balloon will be raised over the clouds and will transmit video of the eclipse back to the ground.

It will also be broadcast in Hartland, Woodstock, Perth-Andover and Plaster Rock.

This will ensure that even if it is a cloudy day, people can witness the eclipse in all its natural beauty.

Meanwhile, Woodstock offers its own plans for the celestial milestone.

In Woodstock, students will be given early dismissal and will be invited to a number of events going on around the town.

In the week leading up to the eclipse, students can also look forward to a travelling planetarium from Science East coming to Woodstock High School.

Amenities such as free food, live music, and more are expected.

Grants for the events at Woodstock High School, as well as a few other schools in the area of totality, are being given by Memorial University, explained Lisa Porter, teacher and staff coordinator from Woodstock High School.

In addition to the school activities, there are expected to be multiple eclipse sites around Woodstock, with guides present to explain the phenomena as they occur.

Chris Hadfield and James Mullinger are headlining a special show in the District of Carleton North to celebrate the total solar eclipse on April 8. (Submitted)

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