DENMARK – A crowd of more than 200 wearing strange glasses mingled at Denmark Technical College on Monday afternoon to observe the phenomenon that swept across the U.S.
Denmark Technical College hosted a viewing event called “A Minute of Midnight: Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.” The event was sponsored by the Community Rural Arts Work League of Bamberg County, CRAWL.
All visitors were encouraged to bring their personal solar eclipse glasses, but CRAWL had a limited amount of glasses available at the event courtesy of Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing Co., Faith Action Ministries, and several private donors. About 700 solar eclipse glasses were given out throughout the campus.
Senior citizens were hosted in the Technology Center of the Carroll-Lebby Library. They were able to use individual computers to watch the eclipse as it traveled, communicate with NASA and visit other eclipse websites. They also had eclipse puzzles, word games and an eclipse bingo competition.
Denmark residents Harold Ness and Ella Guess gathered in a room near the campus library where the NASA live broadcast of the eclipse was being shown via digital projection. Ness will be 95 years old Tuesday, the day after the solar eclipse.
Ness said, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. It’s very exciting to know you witnessed it.”
The Rev. Terry Roof, pastor at Bethel Park United Methodist Church, said “You read a lot in the newspapers about what the scientists think about the eclipse, why it happens, how it happens. No one is talking about who made it happen.” Roof referenced God in his statement.
DTC English instructor Teresa Jenkins, said, “I am absolutely excited because I know I won’t be here for the next one.”
DTC students and citizens gathered just outside the gymnasium on the campus for the eclipse, while middle and high school students had slam-dunk and double-dutch competitions.
DTC student Deshannon James said, “It’s the first time in my life seeing a solar eclipse. I can’t wait for it to get dark. I cannot wait to experience it. I can’t wait to see how the animals react to it.”
Dominique Turnipseed, another student, said she’s happy that she was within the viewing area of the solar eclipse.
Dr. Christopher Hall, interim president of the college, said they had visitors from as far away as Florida.
“I think that we (had) a chance to show what DTC is all about – Denmark Truly Cares,” he said.
Scheduled activities were storytelling, kinder-ready games and puzzles, and NASA uploads for the youngest visitors. Crafting was available to all and was especially geared to the institution’s young, future scholars.
In honor of the eclipse, Ultramacs Music Group donated a 10-by-19 foot U.S. flag that flew in view of the eclipse watchers.