Seymour, Crothersville planning eclipse events

Thanks to Bonnie Tyler’s hit single, many people are aware of the term “total eclipse,” but what exactly does it mean?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking the sun’s face. The sky will become dark, as if it were dawn or dusk, for people viewing a total eclipse from locations where the moon’s shadow covers the sun entirely. These locations are on the path of totality.

The next total solar eclipse visible from the United States will occur April 8.

To celebrate Jackson County’s position in the path of totality, Seymour is hosting a total solar eclipse pre-party from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. the day before April 7 in downtown Seymour. The festival will feature educational programming about the eclipse, food, vendors and live music at Crossroads Community Park, 101 E. Tipton St.

Entertainment includes Southern Indiana Taiko, Soul Express, Here’s to Ya and American Fools Band: A Tribute to the Music of John Cougar Mellencamp.

There also will be free eclipse glasses, more than 50 food and arts crafts vendors and free kids activities and crafts sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour in the city parking lot behind the Knights of Columbus at 118 E. Second St. Also, an astrophotography exhibit from Forrest Willey will be at the Seymour Museum Center, 220 N. Chestnut St.

Special presentations by Seymour natives Mike Weasner, Mark “The Stargeezer” Williams and Bailee Wolfe will be at the Knights of Columbus, as well. Weasner and Williams are amateur astronomers, while Wolfe is a research student at Ball State University who will be speaking about her studies, work and experiences in radio astronomy.

The total length of time of the total eclipse April 8 will be 4 minutes, 28 seconds; however, you likely will have a shorter duration of approximately 3 minutes depending on your location.

You must look through safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses) when viewing the partial phases of the eclipse, which occurs before and after totality. Eclipse glasses are not regular sunglasses. No matter how dark or fashionable, regular sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun.

There will be designated viewing sites at multiple locations throughout Seymour on April 8, including Freeman Field Recreational Complex, Freeman Municipal Airport, Kasting Park, Crossroads Community Park and Shields Park.

A map of viewing sites and parking locations can be found online at

More than 60,000 people are anticipated to be in Seymour on the day of the eclipse, so plan accordingly for transportation and parking.

This will be the last total eclipse visible from the United States until 2044. That one will only be visible in Montana and the Dakotas.

The pre-party festival is sponsored by the city of Seymour, Jackson County Visitor Center, Kocolene Development Corp., Schneck Medical Center, UTB Protection Corp., BSM Groups LLC, FPBH Inc., Seymour Main Street, Bob Poynter Family of Dealerships, Conyer Septic & Excavating, Knights of Columbus Council 1252 and Kindred’s Computers Marketing & Design.

On the day of the eclipse, the Crothersville Junior-Senior High School athletic department is planning Eclipse Fest on the school grounds, 109 N. Preston St., Crothersville.

The schedule of events April 8 includes a blackout 5K run/walk at 8 a.m., a silent auction from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., a baby contest at 9 a.m., a dog parade at 10 a.m., a talent show at 11 a.m. and a Moon Pie eating contest at 1 p.m.

The eclipse is schedule to start at 1:49 p.m. with totality at 3:06 p.m. People are invited to gather in the elementary school parking lot and the adjacent track to view the eclipse.

Organizers are still looking for some more food and craft vendors and live entertainment. If interested, contact Athletic Director Jacob Dunn [email protected] or Superintendent Chrystal Street at [email protected].

“There’s going to be a ton of people that’s expected to come to this area,” Crothersville Town Councilman Chad Wilson said during Tuesday night’s meeting. He also works at the school.

“We have a lot of classes and clubs at school that are going to get involved in this,” he said. “They are going to sell food, art projects, baskets.”

Eclipse T-shirts with “I got mooned,” “Crothersville, IN” and a red star where the town is and the date of the eclipse on an outline of Indiana and then a moon are available, too. The cost is $15 for youth sizes through adult extra-large and $17 for 2XL to 4XL.

Order online through the post at or turn in orders and money by March 22 at any of the three school offices (elementary, junior-senior high and superintendent). All proceeds go to the athletic department.

Any other updates for the event will be posted on the department’s Facebook page.

For those wanting to view the eclipse, there also are 240 RV and tent sites available at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Brownstown. For information about those campsites or hotel rooms available in Seymour, visit

Solar eclipse viewing glasses

The Jackson County Visitor Center and the city of Seymour have purchased solar eclipse glasses which will be a available during Seymour’s pre-eclipse viewing party from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 7 at Crossroads Community Park, 101 E. Tipton St.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources also has solar eclipse glasses and T-shirts available for purchase. The glasses, branded with the state’s eclipse logo and purchased from a vendor on the American Astronomical Society’s approved list (, have 2-millimeter scratch-resistant polymer lenses that filter 100% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays and have been independently tested to be safe for watching all phases of the eclipse.

Four-packs can be bought at for $10 each plus shipping and handling. You also can buy four-packs for $10 each at any Indiana State Park inn gift shop or property office or individual pairs for $3 each.

Commemorative eclipse logo T-shirts also are available online. The short-sleeve version costs $24.95 and the long-sleeve shirt costs $32.95 plus tax. Park offices and inn gift shops also are starting to stock eclipse shirts. Call ahead for shirt and size availability.

Glasses also will be available in Hoosier National Forest offices in Bedford and Tell City.