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Erie's Total Solar Eclipse 

     

Experience The Ultimate Sunblock: Erie's Total Solar Eclipse

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime event in Erie, Pennsylvania! On April 8, 2024, Erie is in the path of totality for a total solar eclipse. For nearly four minutes, the afternoon sky will go dark as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. Erie is the only major city in Pennsylvania in the path of totality. 

During a total solar eclipse, the moon lines up perfectly to obscure the sun, creating "totality".  At the time of totality, the sky will become dark, and the sun’s corona (or outer atmosphere) will be visible. During the 2024 total solar eclipse, nearly everyone in North America will see some part of the eclipse, but only those who live in or travel to the path of totality will experience all stages of this rare event. The difference between a total and partial eclipse is out of this world: if even one percent of the sun is visible during an eclipse, the sun is 10,000 times too bright to observe the most spectacular part - totality!

A total solar eclipse is perhaps the most spectacular astronomical event that can be witnessed from Earth, and it can only be observed from some parts of the globe. Erie will be one of the few locations to see every stage of this awe-inspiring event. Plan your trip now to observe this phenomenon on the shores of Lake Erie!

The next Total Solar Eclipse in the contiguous United States won’t occur until 2044. Erie, Pennsylvania won’t be in the path of totality again until 2144!

Timing Totality

Eclipse Totality Chart 2

All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time. Source: NationalEclipse.com and Fred Espenak NASA GSFC (eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov). For a detailed interactive map of what the eclipse will look like from various points in northwestern PA, click here

Where to Get Eclipse Glasses

It's important to wear ISO-certified eclipse glasses as you safely view the eclipse. You can get them at several locations in Erie County leading up to the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse: 

  • VisitErie will distribute "The Ultimate Sunblock" eclipse glasses on a first-come, first-served basis from April 5 - April 8 at three locations:
    • I-90 Pennsylvania Welcome Center (at the PA/NY border) *Staffed 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily
    • I-79 Rest Stop (near Edinboro, northbound) *Staffed 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday - Sunday / 8 a.m. - Noon Monday
    • Erie Visitor Center at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center *Staffed 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday / 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday / 8 a.m. - Noon Monday
  • "The Ultimate Sunblock" eclipse glasses have been provided to Erie County accommodations, with two pairs allocated per room for the night of April 7, 2024. Contact your hotel for details. 
  • Country Fair locations throughout northwestern Pennsylvania will distribute eclipse glasses free with every purchase (while supplies last). 

Viewing Locations

During Erie's Total Solar Eclipse, the sun will be high in the sky and visible from just about anywhere within Erie County. High traffic is expected in popular tourist locations along the water, including on Presque Isle State Park, which has only one entrance and exit point, and in Erie's Bayfront District. Please allow yourself ample time to get through traffic in these areas and heed the direction of officials. 

This map has been created to guide visitors to areas within Erie County that will be suitable for eclipse viewing, with a capacity to host at least 250 people, including public parks and public events. Public parks noted on this map may not have amenities such as restrooms or seating available, and parking may be limited. Public events on this map may require a ticket purchase or pre-sale reservations. Please click on the icons for more details. 

Eclipse Map Footer 1300 100 px 2

Traffic and Transportation Considerations

With up to 200,000 visitors in Pennsylvania for the total solar eclipse, officials are planning for heavy traffic and congestion, especially going into and out of major viewing locations and events. When traveling, please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your location, exhibit patience while in traffic, keep your gas tank full, and keep an emergency kit in the car. 

Travel considerations for Erie's Bayfront and Downtown Erie: 

  • EMTA will be operating a complimentary shuttle from the Erie Intermodal Transportation Center beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until traffic clears. The shuttle will service Perry Square, French, and Holland before returning to the Intermodal. The route map can be downloaded here. This is the only shuttle that will be in operation on April 8 for the total solar eclipse. 
  • The lots at the Bayfront Convention Center, as well as the Sheraton and Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel garages will be reserved for patrons of the hotels, staff, and Pier 6/Bay House restaurant guests and staff. 
  • State Street north of the Bayfront Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic (other than hotel guests) at 8:30 a.m. 
  • Holland Street, Ore Dock Road, and Port Access Road will all close north of the Bayfront Parkway once their respective public lots are full. 
For real-time traffic and road closure updates, visit www.511pa.com or download the PA 511 App

Official Merch of Erie's Total Solar Eclipse

VisitErie has teamed up with Erie Apparel to get visitors suited up for Erie's Total Solar Eclipse! Click here to see a complete list of merch and souvenirs being offered by local Erie businesses to commemorate Erie's Total Solar Eclipse.

Erie's Total Solar Eclipse Playlist

For two hours and twenty eight minutes, experience Erie's Total Solar Eclipse from start to finish... and listen to this playlist. Start the music at 2:02 p.m. for songs to accompany each moment of the eclipse. Check out all of VisitErie's playlists here

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a partial and total solar eclipe?
  • I can see 99% totality from home. Isn't that basically the same?
  • Will the eclipse still be visible if the sky is overcast?
  • Do I need anything special to view the eclipse?
  • How do I know when I can take my glasses off?
  • Where can I get eclipse glasses in Erie?
  • I want to come to Erie! Where should I stay?
  • Will there be a lot of people in Erie for the Eclipse?
  • I love Presque Isle State Park. Why is it not a suggested viewing location?

How to Safely Experience the Total Solar Eclipse

Eclipse viewing is a safe and enjoyable experience if you take the necessary measures to protect yourself with some basic information and take simple precautions.

  • Do not look directly at the sun. Certified eclipse glasses must be worn to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. To protect your eyes during an eclipse, get a pair of ISO certified eclipse glasses (labeled ISO 12312-2 or ISO 12312:2015) or make a pinhole projector. For information on safely viewing the eclipse from the AAS, click here. During totality, glasses may be removed. 
  • Do not take photographs of the eclipse, or us binoculars or telescopes without proper equipment and filters.
  • Keep children under close supervision during the eclipse to ensure they do not remove their eclipse glasses or look directly at the sun.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, as the sudden darkness during a total solar eclipse can cause disorientation and confusion.
  • Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather during the eclipse.
  • Follow any safety instructions or guidelines provided by local authorities or event organizers.
  • Plan your viewing location in advance and arrive early to avoid crowds and traffic delays.
  • Have a plan for transportation and communication in case of emergency. Large crowds and extremely heavy traffic are expected throughout the path of totality. Give yourself time to get where you need to be. 
  • Be respectful of local communities and the environment during the eclipse.

Share Your Eclipse Experience!

Use #ErieEclipse when sharing your photos online, or upload them below. 

PHOTO USAGE: By uploading content to VisitErie, you agree that you have all the necessary rights and permissions to do so. You also grant VisitErie and its partners the right to re-use photos on social media, print and digital advertising, the Erie Visitor Guide, and VisitErie.com

For more information on the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse, visit NationalEclipse.com

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