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Library brings town under the sun for eclipse viewing

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 8:48 am

Billy and Ann Cobb brought their grandchildren 13-year-old Abby Bennett and 11-year-old Branden Bennett.

Colonial Beach Library’s eclipse viewing was a success, drawing nearly 400 viewers to the beach along the Potomac River to view the rare solar eclipse last Monday.
Billy and Ann Cobb brought their grandchildren, 13-year-old Abby Bennett and 11-year-old Branden Bennett while their daughter Brandi stayed home with the other little ones. Neither Abby nor Branden had ever seen an eclipse.

The family got their safety glasses provided by the library to watch first hand while Brandi texted live shots of the eclipse posted on the internet from across the country. “Mom’s watching kids, she has a box to watch and is watching on Facebook live and sending pictures to the kids,” said Ann.

Ann and Billy have both witnessed a partial eclipse before. They enjoyed bringing the grand-children out to watch this one.

Kitty Norris said the library had to work to qualify for free eclipse glasses and a special eclipse kit.

In order to qualify they held several eclipse events, promoted the event and provided education and access to safe viewing practices.
Norris said the library received 800 pairs of safety glasses but donated half. Her calculations were correct because at the time of the eclipse she had about 13 left over. Many people called ahead to reserve glasses.

Despite temps in the 90’s, people gathered on the beach, the pier and the boardwalk to view the partial eclipse. A cool breeze blew along the beach helping those who forgot umbrellas to keep cool.

The day started out normal for a hot day, but there was little activity in the wildlife area. Squirrels were not out and about and not much small bird activity was noticed at all. Some beach goers noted that one seagull was “dive bombing” kids in the water. But another man said, “That’s normal for the seagulls.”

Read more of this story in the August 30 issue of the Westmoreland News.