People began to trickle over to the square near the Lady of the Fountain around 1 p.m. for a quickly planned Eclipsing with the Lady party sponsored by Sparks Plaza and Mitch Cox Realty. There were prizes, solar eclipse glasses and eclipse snacks — Moon Pies, Starburst and Milky Way candies, eclipse doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, Sun Chips, Capri Sun and Sunkist for everyone.
Jose Castillo headed up organizing the event to bring the downtown community together.
“It was a great event. We had probably 100 people come and go, families, kids, everybody came out and enjoyed it,” Castillo said. “It was a lot of fun. There was this moment where it kinda got dark and everybody went, ‘Oooooo. It was a really neat moment for everybody. In fact, somebody said, ‘We should do this again, like every week.’”
Stephanie and Zack, who didn’t provide their last name, were on their way to the Blue Hole with their dogs to get out of the heat Monday, but decided to grab lunch and check out the eclipse viewing in Johnson City.
April Bunch and her family, including sons Ethan and Truman, were also there enjoying the event. Truman was excited about seeing the eclipse, but he also enjoyed playing with friends and sticking his feet into the fountain.
Bremsley Bishop, 5, explained the eclipse as “big,” and very exciting. She was there with her father, Darby Bishop. They were looking at the eclipse through their protective glasses as well as a pinhole camera folks were passing around.
Olivia Castillo, 10, said the sun looked like a big orange moon pie with a chunk bitten out of it.
Seth Thomas engineered his own viewing product using a welding helmet, an Apple remote and the lid from a spray can. Local businessman Chad Wolfe, who owns Trek bicycle shop, had a similar helmet on his head to watch the eclipse.
As the moon began its journey to cover the sun, everyone took a look, then as a cloud moved over they would go back to socializing. When the clouds moved away, everyone quickly put their glasses back on and looked up.
As the eclipse reached its maximum coverage, the temperature dropped slightly, the light dimmed ... and then it started returning to a hot Monday afternoon in August.