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Old Santee Canal Park perfect venue for eclipse, despite Mother Nature’s reluctance to cooperate


August 23, 2017   By Susan Mungo in Community

Santee Cooper photographer Paul Zoeller took this image of the solar eclipse at Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner on Aug. 21 at the time totality.

The Great American Eclipse” as it is being called, happened this past Monday. From the Oregon coast to the coast of South Carolina millions were able to view a total eclipse of the sun for the first time in 26 years.

In South Carolina, from the mountains to the sea, small towns and venues had prepared for large crowds and they showed. Old Santee Canal Park was a hot spot in the middle of the path for those desiring a family friendly spot in the path of totality.

Planning for big events and being a part of historical events is nothing new for Old Santee Canal Park. It’s history dates back to the days when roads were nonexistent and settlers looked for ways to export their cotton and indigo down river to Charleston.  It is known for hosting such successful events as the Shuckin’ in the Park in March, Celebrate The Season during the holidays, summer camps and the newest event, this month’s Palmetto Pirates Festival.

For the eclipse, all roads led to the park when more than 3,200 visitors were offered more than just a chance to soak up the sun. They found another fun park event with free eclipse glasses given to the first 1,000 visitors, live music, food trucks, telescopes and more. About 700 also visited the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center, an attraction inside the park.

Some locations around the state had perfect viewing conditions. Some, like the park, dealt with cloud cover and even a little rain during totality. But everyone onsite saw day turn to night and back to day in a matter of less than three minutes. Pretty cool for a Monday!

Hopefully you had a wonderful experience wherever you watched The Great Eclipse of 2017. If you missed the event in the park, never fear, you can take in the many sites, sounds and wonders of the Old Santee Canal Park every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.