Log in

Countdown to Monday's eclipse

Willow Park has one of nation's best views


Don't blink.

Well, okay, you can blink, but don't keep your eyes closed for very long or you'll miss a historic event that has one of the best views in the entire United States right here in our backyard.

Monday, April 8, the City of Willow Park and the Parker County Chamber of Commerce is hosting Total Eclipse of the Park at the Aledo Athletics, Inc. ballfields, 9001 E. Bankhead Hwy. 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.

'We are a great place watch the eclipse because we are right on the line of totality, which means you’ll be able to get one of the best views in the county from our spot," Willow Park Director of Communications and Marketing Rose Hoffman said.

"The next full solar eclipse viewable from the (contiguous) United States will be in 2044, according to NASA. So this is a very rare and fun experience and a great way to celebrate as a community, and enjoy some cool science stuff."

Hoffman said 1,000 pairs of viewing glasses provided by Donna J. Alberts with Edward Jones will be available for those who attend the event. She also recommends showing up early and bringing a lawn chair.

"We have advertised in both Tarrant and Parker Counties, and are working with Willow Park Police Department on traffic control the day of the eclipse to minimize the traffic issues in the area as people are arriving and leaving," she said. "Also, we have Miguel’s Place, Salmark BBQ, La Reyna, and Frios Pops coming to sell delicious lunches to our guests. Frios even has specialty flavors in honor of the eclipse."

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.

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.

"No one wants to say they were indoors looking at their phone when this magical day was happening!" Hoffman said.

NASA tips for safety when viewing

*View through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.

*You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the moon completely obscures the sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)

*As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the sun.

*Even during a partial or annular eclipse, or during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the sun will still be very bright. If you are watching an entire eclipse, you may be in direct sunlight for hours. Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to prevent skin damage.

*Do not use eclipse glasses or handheld viewers with cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. Those require different types of solar filters. When viewing a partial or annular eclipse through cameras, binoculars, or telescopes equipped with proper solar filters, you do not need to wear eclipse glasses. (The solar filters do the same job as the eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.)

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.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here