Eclipse watchers have lots of choice


Most local towns refrain from planning events

SOUTH MADISON COUNTY — There’s no shortage of opportunities for people in South Madison County to celebrate the April 8 total solar eclipse — that’s true, of course, because so long as the skies are clear, anyone with the proper eclipse viewing glasses can simply look up to see the spectacle.
But if people in the area are looking for a public organized celebration, for the most part they will need to take a bit of a drive, or instead frequent one of the many events planned by local businesses, churches or other organizations.
Only one town in the immediate area — Markleville — is planning an event, an “Eclipse Watch Party,” on April 8.
Pendleton, Lapel and Ingalls have taken a pass.
“There is not a town-
sanctioned event,” Pendleton Town Council President Marissa Skaggs said.
“Every cautionary tale that we have heard from the 2017 eclipse in Kentucky is it’s a lot of traffic, and given that Pendleton is kind of land-locked as it is sometimes with traffic, we didn’t want to add more confusion to the situation,” she said. “And if I-69 or State Road 67 are full of people and there is the potential for accidents, we want as much flexibility for our emergency response vehicles to be able to get to those incidents.”
“Just given the layout of Pendleton, with being bound by an interstate and several state highways, we just found it to be in our best interest to not have a town-sanctioned event, like in the park, or somewhere where there’s going to be a mass exodus and have traffic woes for hours as a result.”
Also, “it’s that kind of situation where you want to be protective of your business community to some degree and let them do with it what they want,” Skaggs said. “We don’t want to shut down the parking on State Street if we don’t have to. We didn’t want to host a town event and possibly take something away from our downtown merchants, by trying to host an event of any kind of size, like Heritage Fair or something like that, where you feel like not everybody’s getting access to that event, and just adding more confusion to a day that already could have a whole lot of traffic.”
Ingalls, too, has nothing planned for April 8.
However, only two days before the town is having its Spring Block Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“No, we just have our regular festival on April 6, on a Saturday, and we will be giving out our glasses to vendors and guests, the eclipse glasses,” Ingalls Office Administrator Cathy Morris said. “We don’t have anything on that Monday. We are actually closed that day.”
In Lapel, the town office will be open, but there’s no eclipse event planned.
“We’re not doing anything, and we don’t have anything scheduled,” Clerk-Treasurer Teresa Retherford said.
Skaggs did mention “community partners” who are planning eclipse events, for a charge, near I-69 and State Street (State Road 38) in Pendleton.
Community Sports and Wellness is planning Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Event and Family Fun Activities, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 8, and Mystic Waters Campground is planning Solar Eclipse Weekend: The Great American Eclipse, including live music on April 8.
Markleville’s Eclipse Watch Party is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Markleville Community Park, 2649 State Road 38.
There will be musical entertainment, bounce house and children’s games, as well as vendor booths and concessions.
A $10 admission charge per car includes up to six pairs of viewing glasses; event T-shirts will cost $15. All proceeds benefit the park building extension project.
Madison County Chamber | Central Indiana, Anderson Madison County Visitors Bureau, Anderson Municipal Airport and City of Anderson plan a public “eclipse experience” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 8 at Anderson Municipal Airport – Darlington Field, 263 Airport Road, Anderson.
Safety glasses and a DJ will be provided. Food trucks will be available.
To the south, Greenfield Parks and Recreation is offering Total Eclipse of the Parks. It will celebrate the solar eclipse in four city parks. Depot Street Park, 251 Depot St., Greenfield, is the main hub of activity, where food trucks, a DJ, cookie decorating and a panel of science experts will be on site from noon to 6 p.m. April 8. Three of the other parks are also sites to see the eclipse: Beckenholdt Park, 2770 N. Franklin Road, featuring a performance by Brandywine Wind; Brandywine Park, 900 E. Davis Road; and Riley Park, 300 Apple St. Free eclipse glasses are available while supplies last at all parks.