NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Where will you watch the solar eclipse?

Posted at 7:33 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 19:37:49-04

Come Monday afternoon, the sunshine state will be a little less sunny.

That's when the total solar eclipse will move across the entire United States for the first time in almost 100 years. As everyone prepares for the eclipse, there is one thing people are desperately looking for -- solar glasses!

We checked around with Walmart, Toys R' Us and local libraries, and most places are clean out.

We learned you might have more luck in finding an event near you. There are lots of watch parties across the area with lots of solar glasses on hand.

One of those watch parties will be on the Hakuna Matata catamaran cruise in West Palm Beach, which is prepping for a big Monday.

RELATED:Everything you need to know about the Solar Eclipse 2017

"This one's pretty special because it hasn't happened in like 100 years," said Kristen Marozzi, a crew member on the boat.

The cruise boat is teaming up with Visit Palm Beach to host a unique solar eclipse experience on the Intracoastal waters in West Palm Beach.

"Within 24 hours of us putting it on sale, it sold out," said Leigh Bennett, marketing director for Visit Palm Beach.

"It's really neat way for people to experience a pretty momentous occasion like that."

The cruise is stocking up on supplies to fit the theme like Moon pies and Blue Moon beers but those things are selling out fast.

"The Moon pies were really hard to find, bought the last few boxes at Walmart," said Marozzi.

But solar glasses are even harder to find in stores, even Walmart.

"When I walked in they laughed," said Bennett. "They had two batches but they sold out quick."

Visit Palm Beach says your best bet is to find a local event hosting a watch party.

"People need to make sure to check ahead of time before they go so they're not disappointed. And just be safe. Everybody can read the dangers of it," added Bennett.

Meanwhile at the South Florida Science Center, phones are blowing up with questions.

"They are in super high demand, we can't stress that enough," said marketing director Melinda Velasquez.

The center is hosting a public party Monday but they only have 200 glasses on hand. The party runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature a solar eclipse presentation with an interactive sphere, an art contest and a guided viewing of the eclipse in the center's courtyard.

Click here to learn more.

"Due to the high demand, it's going to be one pair of glasses per family," said Velasquez. "It is first come first serve, so we recommend getting here right at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. when the event starts."

Over at Florida Atlantic University, astronomy professor Eric Vandernoot has a lot of exciting work to do.

"There's not been a cross country eclipse -- coast to coast like this -- in 99 years," he said.

Vandernoot is not only hosting a solar eclipse watch party on campus Monday but he'll also be studying it.

"Literally, there's going to be details that I haven't been able to see before because I've not had a chance of a solar eclipse since oh you know, 1979!" he said.

He's even building a replica solar system from scratch for guests to understand the vast distance between our moons and planets.

"So people can physically walk the distances between the sun and the moon comparatively speaking," he said.

The public is invited to FAU's campus for the watch party. They have over 1,000 solar glasses to hand out but are hopeful that guests can bring their own or share with others. Click here for details.

"Apparently they're worth their weight in gold already," joked Vandernoot. "I'm now beginning to wonder if we have enough! We'll have to ask people to share with family members."

And even if you can't find glasses don't forget about the experience.

"We are so excited about that though, because our mission is to open every mind to science," said Velasquez.

Lots of local schools are doing special events for students. Click here to read our previous story.

The following locations in our viewing area will also be hosting watch parties:

The Fox Observatory
Noon-5 p.m.
16001 State Road 84, Sunrise, FL
Free, no glasses will be provided

The Nak
1:26-4:30 p.m.
2800 N. Federal Highway, Suite 8, Boca Raton, FL
Free glasses provided

Kavasutra Kava Bar
2-6 p.m.
450 Northlake Blvd., North Palm Beach, FL
Free, no free glasses provided