Put some “Bad Moon Rising” on your playlist, pop open a bag of Sun Chips and a Blue Moon beer, and get ready to party like it’s 1970, the last time Charleston experienced a total solar eclipse.
While there are more than 200 organized events in the Charleston and Columbia metropolitan areas in advance and during the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, experts in both astronomy and party planning agree on one thing: The best scenario may be hosting a simple party in your back yard.
Citing potential traffic jams and other unknowns, longtime College of Charleston astronomy instructor Terry Richardson says many with views from yards or neighborhoods should consider staying home.
“If you live in the path of totality, you should probably stay at home,” advises Richardson, who has been teaching astronomy and physics classes at the College of Charleston for 38 years, in reference to the 70-mile-wide path of the eclipse.
Event planner Erin Didyoung , vice president of operations for Charleston-based Gosnell & Company Event Management, says people who want to go to larger, public events will have plenty of choices, but that the total solar eclipse is a perfect opportunity to throw a party in a back yard or neighborhood.
She stresses the importance of having a plan.
“It is something that you have to see. It is something that will make an impression on your life,” she says, noting that the nature of the event — three hours with a two-minute climax in the middle — is ideal for a “do-it-yourself,” informal, fun party.
“This is a party that everybody can do.”
Apparently people are making plans to stay home.
Holly Davis, manager of the locally owned Party Plan-It in Mount Pleasant, says about a third of the people coming into the business in the past week are looking for solar eclipse viewing glasses and other eclipse-related items.