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Downtown Watertown bustles with joy and awe during eclipse

in Local News 377 views

A “Where were you when?” moment on Monday afternoon, unencumbered by tragedies usually associated with such monumental events, may have been the first time that residents in this north country city applauded the disappearance of the sun.

When the full totality of the eclipse hit downtown at 3:26:12, cheers from Peanut Park could be heard from blocks away.

A group from Ottawa stood in awe, with eyes skyward, and reacted afterward.

Samantha Alamilla and Francisco Ventura were about 6 years old when they witnessed a total eclipse in Mexico. “That was just a flashing moment,” Ventura said. “This was very special for me this time. I was able to see every single moment. It was just amazing.”

It was super amazing with everything going dark,” Alamilla said.

With the couple was Daniel Willis, also of Ottawa, but a native of Louisiana. “My dad works for NASA and with space stuff,” he said. “So this was really cool to see up close.”

It was a festive atmosphere downtown. About an hour before totality, a parked SUV blared Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” The song issues a dire warning, but the crowd was in a partying mood.

Helping to fuel that mood was Michael (Roland the drummer) Porcello of Evans Mills. He set his drum kit up at Peanut Park a couple hours before totality, entertaining the crowd. A few people occasionally dropped in coins in a container in front of him.

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Local businesses offering special items to commemorate solar eclipse

in Local Business 329 views

Some area businesses are offering special items and products to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event of viewing the solar eclipse in the north country on April 8.

They include:

—Ricardo’s Market — The Eclipse Take Out Box offers chicken cutlet and meatball torpedo sandwiches and sun- and moon-related food items. Moon pies, Sun Chips, Eclipse gum are included. The boxes will be sold on April 8 at the Italian food take-out eatery at 217 Holcomb St., Watertown.

—Shady Pine Bar and Grille in Henderson Harbor — An Eclipse Burger will be sold on the weekend of the eclipse, from Friday until Monday. The burger will feature a blackened burger topped with a fried egg, drizzled with teriyaki sauce and served with hand-cut fries. The bar will feature live music on Saturday and Sunday.

—Winning Promotions & Embroidery — Making custom-designed T-shirts for businesses and families wanting to commemorate the eclipse. It designed T-shirts that are being sold at O’Brien’s Restaurant & Bar in Clayton.

The T-shirt maker also is offering custom-design T-shirts on its online store. Some T-shirts are also being sold in the business at 1291 Faichney Drive, Watertown.

—Chrissy Beans — Half Moon cookies will be sold daily until April 8 at the counters in its two locations, in Sackets Harbor and in a Washington Street plaza. To mimic the moon, chocolate frosting covers half of the cookie, and vanilla frosting covers the other half.

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Watertown eclipse events to cost city $135,000

in Event 362 views

The city is spending $135,500 on hosting events associated with the solar eclipse on April 8.

On Monday night, City Council members will be asked to amend the city budget by $123,000 to pay for anticipated costs related to the upcoming total eclipse of the sun.

When the city first started planning for the eclipse, council put aside $12,500 for the event.

But that’s when city officials thought that between 7,500 and 10,000 people would be attending the Total Eclipse in the Park event on that day.

But now as many as 174,000 people might be coming into the Watertown area to view the eclipse, considered North America’s most anticipated celestial event for years to come.

If it’s sunny, organizers believe that Thompson Park will be one of the best places to view the eclipse.

Mayor Sarah V.C. Pierce expects that the $123,000 will cover all the city’s expenses to put on park and other events.

Those expenses are mainly for paying for shuttle buses that will be used to transport visitors in the park, public safety measures for overtime for police officers and firefighters working that day and for other security, according to a memo from City Manager Eric Wagenaar.

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