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State Parks, Niagara Falls USA to host NASA for eclipse festivities


Mon, Nov 13th 2023 09:40 am

April 2024 total solar eclipse expected to draw thousands to city

√ Next total solar eclipse to be seen in contiguous United States on Aug. 23, 2044

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with several tourism stakeholders in Niagara Falls, will collaborate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to provide programming and special events around the total solar eclipse that will take place on April 8, 2024.

“Niagara Falls is a spectacular natural backdrop for this once-in-a-lifetime event, and working with NASA to provide the programming and education leading up to the eclipse is sure to attract thousands of New Yorkers and visitors to the city,” Hochul said. “We are excited to be working with so many of our tourism partners to bring an electric energy throughout the area for this celestial wonder.”

NASA Associate Administrator for Science Nicola Fox said, “We’re excited to be in New York to engage and educate Niagara Falls and surrounding communities about the total solar eclipse. We hope these events, along with all our nationwide eclipse activities, inspire and encourage the next generation – the Artemis Generation – of explorers, scientists and engineers.”

Beginning on April 4, 2024, scientists, subject matter experts and astronauts from NASA will be providing programming and exhibits throughout the city at locations including the Niagara Falls Public Libraries, The Underground Railroad Heritage Center, The Aquarium of Niagara, the New York Power Authority Power Vista, the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and Niagara Falls State Park. All events will be free and open to the public (reservations may be required based on space availability) throughout the entire weekend leading up to the April 8 event. NASA will be hosting similar events in several other cities throughout the path of totality.

Hochul’s team said, “A number of state agencies and authorities have comprised a task force with partners at all levels of government to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers and visitors for the event. This collaboration is and has been studying the preparation, after-actions and recommendations of states and municipalities that were in the path of the August 2017 eclipse. Other working endeavors include communications and operations, traffic control and planning, marketing and education.

“For the eclipse and its preparations, New York state will maintain its role of logistical support along with managing its own assets like parks and roads. In July, Gov. Hochul announced some State Park campgrounds would be opening to accommodate visitors for this celestial event; all of those sites are now full.

“For more information on how to best experience the eclipse in New York state, including suggested viewing areas, planned events and important safety information, visit www.iloveny.com/eclipse.”

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “We have been planning for this event for several years and, in our wildest dreams, couldn’t have imagined being able to work with NASA to provide this incredible experience. We know that people will be flocking to the city and park to take part in all of the events leading up to the big moment.”

Destination Niagara USA President and CEO John Percy said, “The natural beauty of Niagara Falls State Park and the surrounding area provides many unique vantage points for visitors to experience the total solar eclipse. The additional programming provided by NASA truly distinguishes Niagara Falls USA as the preeminent location for viewing this natural phenomenon.”

New York State Sen. Rob Ortt said, “A total solar eclipse is a rare, exciting event – and the fact Western New York is at the center of one next year and NASA scientists are going to provide special events and programming in our area will make for some truly unforgettable experiences, in addition to providing a much-needed boost to the Niagara Falls economy.”

Assemblymember Angelo Morinello said, “Having NASA come to Niagara Falls for this once-in-a-lifetime event is exciting and will certainly serve to enhance the experience of this eclipse. We know that people will be coming to Niagara Falls from all over, and it will be wonderful to be able to supplement their visit with the programming that will be provided.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “We are pleased to be one of the host cities to join with NASA in observation of this spectacular natural wonder. … Thank you to Gov. Hochul for recognizing that Niagara Falls, home to New York State’s natural wonder, is the perfect location.”

New York Power Authority Western New York Regional Manager Jairo Florez said, “As a free, public, recreation and education facility at NASA’s last designated ‘sun spot’ before the eclipse moves into Canada, the New York Power Authority’s Niagara Power Vista looks forward to its collaborative programming with NASA and NYS Parks to supporting this unique viewing and education opportunity.”

Niagara County Community College President William Murabito said. “Niagara County Community College is excited to host NASA for what is sure to be a unique event here in Western New York. Exploration, imagination and science form the foundation of instruction at our Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, making it an ideal site for this partnership. We look forward to bringing programming around next April’s solar eclipse to the broadest audience possible.”

Niagara Falls will experience the beginning of the eclipse at 2:04 p.m., with full totality starting at 3:18 p.m., lasting 3 minutes and 31 seconds. The eclipse will wrap up at 4:31 p.m.

Niagara Falls programming details will be updated as they develop at https://www.niagarafallsusa.com/2024-solar-eclipse.

For more information on events taking place across New York state, visit https://www.iloveny.com/events/eclipse-2024/. For details on the science of the eclipse, see https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses/2024/apr-8-total/overview/.

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