Hundreds of spectators flocked to Downtown Bellevue to view The Great American Eclipse on Monday.
The total solar eclipse could be seen across the United States, however, those in the Pacific Northwest were able to see about 92 percent of the eclipse. The highest peak of partial totality was at around 10:20 a.m.
The Bellevue Library hosted a viewing event at the top of their parking garage. Many also made themselves comfortable on the Ashwood Playfield behind the library.
“Is it a bad pun if I say I’m over the moon?” Supervising Librarian Darcy Brixey said of the high turnout. “I’m thrilled that this many people showed up. I mean, we knew we’d have some people but when people started calling – it got to be about 30 questions an hour about eclipse glasses.”
Staff with the library handed out about 200 NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses, courtesy of the Bellevue Friends of the Library. Brixey estimates they ran out of glasses with at least 100 more families left in line.
But those who didn’t receive glasses were encouraged to make pin hole viewers with materials provided by the library.
“I’ve seen a lot of cereal box pin hole viewers down on the lawn out there,” Brixey said. “Someone has a camera set up with a big cardboard contraption.”
The Bellevue Friends of the Library funded the glasses through books they sell in their bookshop. The funds they receive go towards community events, such as the eclipse viewing party, as well as story times. Brixey said this is important because many libraries received grants for the eclipse glasses, but the Bellevue Library didn’t.
In addition to a station that helped the community make pin hole viewers, there was an area with sidewalk chalk and the KidsQuest Museum engaged children with an airplane launcher that tested airplane designs made by children.
Brixey said the Bellevue Library is happy with how the event turned out, as their mission was to connect the community.
For more information on the total solar eclipse, visit www.kidsquestmuseum.org/total-solar-eclipse/