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Solar Eclipse Sun Celebration

Totality of a solar eclipse. Image by Dinnis DiCicco

Totality of a solar eclipse. Image by Dinnis DiCicco.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party & Sun Celebration 

Aug 21, 2017; 1-3pm
Free with Garden admission

Join us in the Central Garden for a sun celebration in conjunction with the solar eclipse! On August 21, as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, it will cast a shadow; Richmond will experience a partial eclipse with 85 percent of the sun’s surface shadowed by the moon. We often take it for granted, but sunlight is essential to life on Earth, including plants and people. Participate in sun-themed activities throughout the afternoon while safely enjoying this amazing astronomical event!

Please note, it is NOT safe to look at the sun without solar eclipse glasses. We will have certified for safe viewing glasses for the first 500 guests. 

Monday, August 21, 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Details

Sun Celebration Activities & Events

Solar eclipse viewing glasses for the first 500 guests (certified for safe viewing) will be distributed starting at 1 p.m. Peak viewing will occur at 2:45 p.m. 


  • Make a botanical sun print
  • Test out a pinhole viewer for observing the eclipse
  • Paint with water — and watch it evaporate
  • Do sun salutations with yoga instructor, Michelle Israel
  • Purchase sunflowers from Freckled Flower Farm
  • We’ll have icy treats available (for purchase) at the ice cream cart

Want to know more? Visit the NASA web page on the solar eclipse and eye safety during an eclipse.

Children watching the solar eclipse wearing protective shades. Image by Mark Margolis.

A total solar eclipse is about as bright as the full Moon — and just as safe to look at. But the sun at any other time is dangerously bright; view it only through special-purpose “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. Photo by Mark Margolis / Rainbow Symphony

Top image of solar eclipse in totality Rick Fienberg.