App users, tap here to watch video report.
By Caleb Yauger
Mark your calendars for Monday, April 8, 2024. And remember these three words: path of totality.
Parts of our region will only be one out of the few selected geographic locations in the United States that will experience the total solar eclipse next year.
“It’ll start in the lower southwest Texas area and then move into to the northeast through Erie, through Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, and then it will exit North America,” said Dr. Darren Williams, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State Behrend.
VisitErie hosted a press conference Thursday morning at the Bayfront Convention Center to officially start the countdown to the solar eclipse.
This will be the only opportunity this century for Erie to experience the once-in-a-lifetime event, as it won’t be occurring again until the year 2144.
“That path in totality is quite narrow,” said Dr. David Hurd, planetarium director at PennWest Edinboro.”It’s only about 100 miles wide. So for that swath [and] that path to go through your particular city is rare.”
The previous solar eclipse in August of 2017 attracted hundreds of spectators to Liberty Park to view the galactic wonder.
In 2024, that number is expected to be just a bit higher, and hotels are expected to be heavily booked.
“We could expect anywhere, and I know what’s a wide range, between 65,000 and 250,000 people,” said John Oliver, president and CEO of VisitErie.
The Erie community is already beginning preparations a year in advance.
“We’re looking forward to this,” Oliver said. “It gives us an opportunity to showcase Erie to a lot of visitors who might not consider Erie as a place to come to visit.”
“This is home,” said Pam Forsyth, general manager of Lilly Broadcasting. “It’s part of us, so we want to be here and want to be part of it. And we want to be able to broadcast it for those that can’t physically get out there.”
Leave a Reply