Santa Clarita residents had a sunny Friday afternoon at Old Town Newhall Library’s “Learn About the Sun Day” in preparation for the solar eclipse on Monday.
A line of more than 1,000 people wrapped around the building, eager to hear a lesson about the sun, craft a pinhole projector to view the eclipse, get glasses and decorate a cookie.
“Friday Fun Day Learn about the Sun Day was a great success,” Angela Chadbourne, Youth Services Librarian at Old Town Newhall Library said. “We were thrilled and astonished that over 1,300 people came to visit the Old Town Newhall library to learn about the sun and eclipse.”
The library partnered with NASA and STAR_Net to put on the event and NASA donated 1,000 pairs of glasses to the library to give out to attendees to view the eclipse.
“Their educational resources and glasses are what made the day tremendously successful,” Chadbourne said. “Many parents took the time to thank me for the program. They enjoyed the educational aspects of learning about the sun’s photosphere, chromosphere and corona.”
The library was getting an influx of calls asking about getting the glasses in the days leading up to the event, according to Stacy Schlesinger, Santa Clarita Public Library Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator.
“We’re super excited to be able to do educational programs and hand out these glasses that we were granted,” Branch Manager Gina Roberson said. “The community is obviously super excited.”
Santa Clarita local Brian Permann waited in the line with his wife to pick up their glasses. The couple plans to go to Vasquez Rocks to watch the eclipse.
“I’m super excited for Monday,” Permann said. “I never would have expected such a big crowd, but it was totally cool seeing families come get the glasses and share in this rare experience together.”
When the last eclipse occurred in 1979, Permann was in 6th grade. He said he will never forget making projectors out of shoeboxes with his class.
Alicia Curran, a 5-year-old attendee, said she was excited to see the eclipse next week using her pinhole projector.
The library will also host an eclipse viewing party on Monday from 10 to 11 a.m. and protective glasses will be provided.
For those who could not attend the event but would like to learn how to make a pinhole projector, visit the library’s Facebook page.