Warning: You need protective eyeglasses to view solar eclipse

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HERCULANEUM, MO - The St. Louis Eclipse Task Force ttp://www.missourieclipse2017.com/ wants area school districts interested in obtaining protective eyeglasses for their students to contact the task force now.  The total solar eclipse will take place August 21st.  Protective glasses are needed to avoid eye damage that’s possible when looking directly into the sun.

“We only really have a few more weeks before the manufacturers simply can’t get the glasses to us. They are completely slammed right now and so I think if by mid-July we don’t have the orders in, it’s going to be hard to get those glasses,” said task force chairman Don Ficken.

He said the last time a total solar eclipse appeared in the St. Louis sky was 1442.  He believes the most impressive moment will be viewing the sun’s corona when the moon blocks the sun from the earth.

The St. Louis Eclipse Task Force is also seeking donations so it can purchase more of the protective eyeglasses. Some of the prime viewing spots are considered just south of the St. Louis area.

“I had a guy the other day call me from Boston.  He’s coming, a guy from Minnesota, one from Oregon and one from Florida in just the past few days,” said Herculaneum Mayor Bill Haggard.  “So, it makes you wonder, you know who is coming.”

Herculaneum is planning a festival from August 19-21.  The city’s school district is cancelling classes.  The high school football field will turn into a big watch party.  The mayor said it’s impossible to know how many people will turn out for the event but he believes there will be some economic benefit for Herculaneum businesses.

In addition to economic benefits, Ficken hopes the excitement will translate into a greater interest in science.

“If this can stimulate one child to really get into science, “said Ficken.  “I think it’s a win.”