Want to head to Vermont for April’s solar eclipse? Better book now


Accommodations are booking up for the April 8 event.

St. Albans, Vermont is preparing for the solar eclipse in April. Doug Kerr / flickr

Lodging is booking up and special glasses are being ordered in a northern Vermont destination bracing for a rare April viewing of the total solar eclipse.

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St. Albans town and city are located directly in the path of totality for the April 8 event.

“We are right in the longest time frame for the eclipse,” said St. Albans Mayor Tim Smith, during a special meeting of the St. Albans City Council on Monday.

“A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun,” according to science.nasa.gov. “People located in the center of the Moon’s shadow when it hits Earth will experience a total eclipse. The sky will darken, as if it were dawn or dusk.”

The last total solar eclipse in Vermont happened in 1932 and the next won’t happen until 2106.

Smith said he’s expecting about 28,000 people, double the area’s population and about the same amount of visitors that typically attend the annual Maple Festival (taking place this year April 26-28). The city has ordered about 15,000 special eclipse-viewing glasses for the occasion.

Arleigh Young, the planning and development coordinator for the city of St. Albans, told Vermont Edition that the state of Vermont will attract about 200,000 visitors for the eclipse.

“There are a lot of great events that are spread across [Vermont], from Burlington, all the way up to Newport, and in the northern reaches of our state,” she said during the show.

In St. Albans, an eclipse viewing party has been planned at Taylor Park from 2 to 5 p.m. called “Totality in Taylor Park” and will include food, live music, and other activities.

Organizers of the party posted the following on Facebook:

Join the best viewing party in Vermont right in the heart of Saint Albans City!! We are in the path of totality and will experience the LONGEST view of the total eclipse at 3 minutes and 33 seconds!! Come to Taylor park and get the full experience. The Ryan Sweezy Band will be rocking out the park throughout the event!! 14th Star will be serving up beverages. There will also be C & M Concessions, Mama Llama Bakery, Pizza Bottega, and Green Mountain Kettle Corn.

St. Albans is working with city and state police regarding traffic control, parking, portable toilets, and recommended viewing areas, Smith said.

“There’s a lot of discussions going on now,” Smith said.

For those looking for accommodations, lodging has been booking up. KarenMarie Peltier, owner of Back in Time Bed & Breakfast, a restored Victorian Manor in St. Albans, told Vermont Edition that travelers began calling her for reservations two years ago and she is currently booked with a waiting list.