On Monday, August 21, 2017, a shadow will come across the United States as the moon crosses in front of the sun to create the first solar eclipse since 1918. It’s a cause for wonder and celebration in itself, and for associations it’s the perfect opportunity to cultivate a sense of community – with a solar eclipse party.
Even though the date of the eclipse is fast approaching, there’s still time to plan a quick, simple event that will bring your community together— just follow these steps!
1. Choose the Right Location
While some locations will have a better view of the eclipse than others, you can still find an ideal spot to watch the eclipse in your local community. A common area with an open view of the sky, like a park or a greenbelt, is ideal. An area with a few tables and benches along with a grassy area for laying out blankets also gives residents a place to sit while waiting for the big moment. Ensuring that the location is as close and convenient as possible will help drive attendance.
2. Promote Solar Eclipse Safety
Everyone knows that staring at the sun can damage your retinas, and your residents might think that sunglasses offer all the protection they need – but this is far from the truth. To promote safety, encourage residents to bring solar eclipse glasses or provide them as a party favor. You could also turn safety into an activity by supplying the items for creating pinhole cameras that will allow residents to view the eclipse without suffering consequences to their sight. Here’s a map of all the places in the U.S. where you can pick up free solar eclipse sunglasses.
3. Provide Out-of-This-World Refreshments
This is an opportunity to get a little creative and incorporate a space theme without going overboard. If the budget only allows you a few simple snacks, you’ve still got plenty of options: Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst, Milky Ways, sun tea, and any other treats with extraterrestrial names are all fair game. Spring for lunch by adding in all the components for the perfect picnic or barbecue, or encourage residents to bring a sack lunch to enjoy outdoors while watching the eclipse unfold.
4. Tell the Community about Your Event
There’s no point in planning an event unless you invite people to it! Since the eclipse is happening in a matter of days, notify your community via social media or email. The exact time of the eclipse is different depending on your specific location (find out what time the eclipse will be in your location by zip code here), so plan the party time accordingly. It’s also important to mention whether you’ll provide eclipse glasses or if residents need to bring their own. And you can generate further interest by mentioning the refreshments you’ll provide.
Because the solar eclipse is providing the entertainment, planning a watch party for this rare occasion couldn’t be easier. With these tips and a little planning and creativity, you can host a simple, affordable solar eclipse watch party that lets you and your community residents sit back, relax and enjoy the light show.