Hundreds line up to get glasses, watch eclipse at library

People came in droves to the downtown library in Jacksonville for a viewing party for the Great American Eclipse on Monday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hundreds of people lined up at the Jacksonville Public Library downtown Monday morning in hopes of scoring last-minute eclipse glasses.

The library had around 90 of its original stock of 5,000 remaining to give out.

“We’ve been here since 7 a.m.,” Kayleigh Hewlett, who was among the first in line, said. “[We] tried coming Saturday, but it was like, chaos, because there were so many people here. So, they told us to come back and so we wanted to get here early so we would have the glasses.”

Jerbrina Jackson was also among the first in line.

“I’m excited because this is my first time seeing the eclipse,” she said.  “So it’s exciting to see something you’ve never seen before.”

Library staff gave wristbands to the first people in line. After they completed an eclipse-related project, they were given the coveted glasses.

No one left empty handed. One of the activities was making pinhole projectors, which are a safe alternative for eclipse viewing.

By mid-afternoon, all eyes were on the sky from the library’s courtyard.

Sylvia Hagans and the home school group she teaches, Right Way to Higher Learning, were among the crowd.

“I’ve never seen it, and I graduated from high school in 1979 and that was the last time,” she said. “So it’s so amazing to actually see it with our glasses.”

While the group just wrapped up a course on the solar system, sometimes the best lessons happen outside the classroom.

“So today we can actually see the moon between the Earth and the sun,” Hagans said. “So it’s so exciting for them to literally experience that in this lifetime.”

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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