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Historical event over Willow Park


There's no other way to say it. If you miss the total solar eclipse on April 8, odds are you won't be around to see the next one that occurs over our area.

Neither will your children, your grandchildren, or even your great-great-great grandchildren.

So if this is something you want to see - and lots of folks do - you might want to skedaddle over to Aledo Athletics, Inc. ballfields, 9001 E Bankhead Hwy. on that day. Gates open at noon and activities will conclude around 2 p.m.

Somewhere around 1:40 p.m. the eclipse will happen. The sun will be completely blocked out by the moon for more than 2 minutes, a rare occurrence.

The watching party, cleverly named Total Eclipse of the Park, is co-sponsored by the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Willow Park. Eclipse glasses are provided by Donna J. Alberts with Edward Jones.

The following food trucks will be on site: Miguel’s Place hamburgers, La Reyna taco truck, Frios Gourmet Popsicles, and Salmark BBQ.

"This can truly be called a once-in-a-lifetime event," said Rose Hoffman, Willow Park Director of Communications and Marketing.

How rare is this? According to the National Weather Service, the most recent total solar eclipse in North or Central Texas was in 1878. After this, there won't be another until 2317.

In fact, since 1900, the United States has only seen 12 total solar eclipses pass over any portion of the country.

After the total solar eclipse on April 8, NASA reports the next total eclipse in the world will occur on Aug. 12, 2026 and will be visible from Greenland, Iceland, the Atlantic Ocean and Spain.

For the contiguous United States, the next total solar eclipse after this one will be Aug. 23, 2044.

What will happen

Willow Park is right on the line on which the eclipse will occur. Viewers will have complete totality or very close, Hoffman said.

The eclipse will basically turn day to night. 

A solar eclipse occurs when a new moon is positioned precisely between Earth and the sun and casts its shadow on Earth. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon appears the same size in the sky as the sun, or slightly larger, so it fully covers the disk of the sun. 

"This really is something rare and special, and we'll be able to view it from our backyard, which is really cool," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said eclipse glasses will be available for up to 1,000 people for free at the event. She recommends showing up early and bringing a lawn chair. 

Things to remember when watching

*To safely view the entire event, use glasses with solar filters. Only those in the path of totality will briefly be able to remove them to see the sun's corona with their naked eyes. Those not in the path of totality must keep them on the entire time. 

*Everyone observing the partial phases of the eclipse will need to wear solar eclipse glasses while cameras, telescopes and binoculars will need solar filters placed in front of their lenses. 

If you happen to be on the road driving when the eclipse happens:

*Keep your vehicle headlights on.

*Put the sun visor down to block your view of the sun.

*Don’t wear your eclipse viewing glasses while driving.

*Don’t try to photograph or video record the eclipse while driving.

*Don’t pull over on the side of the road, highway or interstate to view the eclipse.

*Fully exit the roadway and park in a safe area far from traffic to view the eclipse.

*Be mindful of pedestrians who may be walking around with their eyes to the sky and not their surroundings during the total solar eclipse.


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