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The Adirondack region prepares for totality as April solar eclipse approaches

Eclipse-Adirondack marketing logo
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism
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Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism
Eclipse-Adirondack marketing logo

On Monday, April 8th a total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States. The path of totality includes areas of the Adirondacks, Plattsburgh and Burlington. The Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism held its latest webinar this morning prepping area businesses and community members for the celestial event.

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes in front of the sun and during totality the lunar disk entirely blocks the sun. On April 8th the path of totality will cut a swath across western New York state and the Adirondacks.

Hundreds of thousands of people travel to communities located within the path of totality and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism – or ROOST — has been holding meetings and webinars to prepare for the influx. Director of Marketing Michelle Clement noted a solar eclipse is an extremely rare event.

“To put it into perspective there will be 21 years before you will be able to view a total solar eclipse again from the United States," noted Clement. "And it will be over 55 years before it’s viewable again in New York state. This will be the first time the Adirondacks as a whole has ever experienced a total solar eclipse. So it really truly is a rare experience.”

ROOST is currently setting up viewing locations, coordinating parking, safety and traffic control in key locations, and assuring there will be services, restrooms and business support. Regional Manager Eileen Mowrey said the viewing areas are in areas with broad open spaces for optimal views.

“Right now for the Lake Placid region we have viewing areas designated at the Lake Placid Horse Show grounds, the North Elba athletic fields, Marcy Field in Keene," listed Mowrey. "And then ORDA is going to be hosting events at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval here in town and then a live feed of the entire solar eclipse for the time that it passes over the entire United States. They’ll be playing a live feed on the Jumbotron in the 1980 rink. So those are currently our main viewing areas. But then there are also various local businesses that are also planning on hosting something at their location.”

Spring in the Adirondacks can bring abrupt and dangerous changes in weather. Clement said ROOST is also addressing concerns about people who may consider entering wilderness areas to view the eclipse.

“It is really important getting information out about backcountry awareness," said Clement. "As we prepare for this we have a joint press release going out later this week with the Adirondack Mountain Club that really focuses on being prepared and what the expectations are for our weather conditions in April as well as really encouraging people to go to designated viewing areas within the communities to minimize that impact.”

Regional officials are not just preparing for Eclipse Day, but the days before and after. Clement said ROOST is conducting a survey to determine what local businesses are planning, including any activities leading up to or just after the eclipse.

“We keep saying April 8th. April 8th," Clement said. "And it’s really important those days leading up too. You know as people start to arrive into the communities. So we’re really looking for information that dates back to that Thursday April 4th coming in and then through Tuesday April 9th. So it’s not all about April 8th even though we keep saying April 8th.”

Several Adirondack communities will experience nearly three-and-a-half minutes of totality including Bloomingdale, Paul Smiths, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Wilmington. The eclipse is expected to start in the Adirondack region just after 2 p.m. with totality starting at about 3:25 p.m.