Five free ways to celebrate the annular solar eclipse in San Antonio

In addition to the celestial show, eclipse viewing parties will feature educational activities, live music and more.

click to enlarge The Oct. 14 annular eclipse will reach its maximum at 11:54 a.m. in San Antonio. - Shutterstock / aeonWAVE
Shutterstock / aeonWAVE
The Oct. 14 annular eclipse will reach its maximum at 11:54 a.m. in San Antonio.
On Oct. 14, San Antonio will be in the path of totality for an annular solar eclipse, also called a “ring of fire” eclipse. The event will span a little over three hours, beginning around 10:23 a.m. The full eclipse will take place between 11:52 and 11:56 a.m., reaching its maximum at 11:54 a.m. It’s expected to wind down and come to an end at 1:33 p.m.

Watch parties have sprung up around town, with plenty of options to enjoy the celestial phenomenon across the Alamo City. While many events will provide protective eyewear or other safe ways to view the phenomenon, it may be wise to pick up some eclipse glasses just in case. They can be sourced online or at local stores including Whole Earth Provisioning Co. (255 E. Basse Road, (210) 829-8888, wholeearthprovision.com) and Analytical Scientific (11049 Bandera Road, (210) 684-7373, analyticalsci.com).

We rounded up eclipse-viewing options in San Antonio, and best of all — they’re all free to attend. Additional information is available at visitsanantonio.com/eclipse.

The Alamo

What’s more iconic than viewing the eclipse at the Alamo? The historic downtown landmark will hold a viewing party complete with special eclipse viewing glasses that feature the Alamo’s parapet roofline as part of their design. Glasses can be reserved online or purchased at the Alamo’s Welcome Center for $5 apiece, but purchase isn’t required to attend. Free, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 300 Alamo Plaza, (210) 640-9903, thealamo.org.

Mission San José

The “Queen of the Missions” will play host to its own viewing party, with free glasses provided while supplies last. The event also will feature a 20-minute educational presentation by an astronomer from UTSA’s Curtis Vaughan Jr. Observatory, which will take place at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own water, since food and drink won’t be provided at the event. Free, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 6701 San José Drive, (210) 932-1001, nps.gov/saan.

Scobee Education Center

The Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College is pulling out all the stops for the eclipse. Its event will include guest speakers, live music, kids’ activities and food trucks. Solar-filtered telescopes also will be available for public viewing of the eclipse, and free viewing glasses will be available while supplies last. The event is free to attend, but parking is $5. Free, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 1819 N. Main Ave., (210) 486-0100, alamo.edu.

Trinity University

As part of its eclipse celebrations, Trinity’s campus will partly transform into a one-billionth scale model of the solar system. The event will feature family-friendly arts and crafts, educational activities and food trucks, and the university will provide protective glasses while supplies last. Festivities will take place at “The Cube” in the Center for Science and Innovation building, with rooftop viewing of the eclipse at the Marrs McLean Observatory. Free, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 1 Trinity Place, (210) 999-7011, events.trinity.edu.

Alamo Beer Co.

Downtown brewery Alamo Beer Co. has made a special brew for the occasion: a beer made with Eclipse Hops called Ring of Fire. Eclipse glasses come free with a purchase of beverage while supplies last. Free, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 202 Lamar St., (210) 872-5589, alamobeer.com.

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Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson is a digital content editor for the San Antonio Current.

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