Top 10 Things to do during EclipseFest Fredericton

Have you heard the news? The Fredericton Capital Region is located in the direct path of a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, which can only be experienced along a narrow strip on the Earth's surface, making Fredericton one of the BEST places on Earth to witness this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! During the eclipse, which starts at 3:23 pm, the sun will be completely blocked out by the moon for 2min 17 sec, with the partial eclipse being visible for about 2 hours! With the next total eclipse not happening in the Maritimes until 2079 – you won’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

EclipseFest Fredericton is a weekend-long event, taking place from Saturday, April 6 to Monday, April 8, to celebrate this grand spectacle of nature! We've compiled a list of the top 10 MUST-DO Eclipse-themed activities while you're here for this incredible solar event.

**Please acquire your own solar glasses, as looking into the sun is extremely dangerous. A limited number of glasses will be available during the EclipseFest Fredericton event.

1 - Monday Eclipse Public Watch Party

This is the premiere event! Join the Monday Eclipse Public Watch Party in a festive atmosphere on Carleton Street. From there, visitors can see the sun and moon, and safely cross the pedway to the Green and Riverfront trail. Join astronomers with the Royal Astronomical Society – NB Chapter (RASC-NB) with telescopes and live commentary on the stages of the Eclipse.

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2 - Science East Planetarium Show

Open from Saturday, April 6 to Monday, April 8, explore space, solar eclipses, and our moon in this immersive experience! From 12 to 4pm, bring the family to the Chickadee Room of the Public Library or a free show in the inflatable planetarium! The interactive and accessible 30-minute show will transport you to exciting worlds beyond our atmosphere to prepare you for the total eclipse.

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3 - EclipseFest Family Story Walk

On Sunday, April 7, from 12 to 4pm, join the EclipseFest Family Story Walk! A perfect activity with the kiddos in preparation for the big solar event, join a self-guided walk with the family and read "Eclipse" by Andy Rash, the heart-warming story of a young boy who takes a road trip with his father to experience the 2017 solar eclipse. Everyone is invited to join with the story available in both English and French!

*The exact location is to be determined depending on the weather.

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4 - Stanton Friedman Is Out of This World Exhibit

As part of EclipseFest, the Fredericton Region Museum invites you to take a guided tour of The Stanton Friedman Is Out of This World Exhibit throughout the event! This exhibit has everything under the sun from Stanton Friedman, a famous UFO researcher from Fredericton— artifacts and archival documents and never-before-seen documents from his vast collection, awards, recordings of phone conversations, records and newspaper clippings about UFO sightings in New Brunswick. Look out for the larger-than-life paper mâché, aliens, fun sound effects and lighting!

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5 - Introduction to Astronomy

Whether you're intrigued by constellations, eager to understand the basics of telescopes, or simply yearning to navigate the cosmos confidently, the Introduction to Astronomy Workshop from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is perfect! Get ready to embark on a celestial journey at the Fredericton Public Library, where the mysteries of the universe unfold, and the stars become your roadmap. Join local members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to talk about what you need to get started and how to begin exploring the night sky!

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6 - Star Party!

Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for a nightime star watch party and learn the wonders of the night sky each night of EclipseFest from 7 to 9pm! Telescopes will be set up for Astro-viewing and preceding the evening observation sessions there will be a presentation where you can learn about the stars, planets and galaxies that are hoped to be observed.

Weather permitting, you may catch a glimpse of various constellations, including Orion (hunter), Canis Major (dog), Taurus the bull, Pleiades (the seven sisters), Jupiter, Jupiter's moons, Andromeda, satellites, and other night sky wonders!

*This is a weather-dependent event. Location: TBD.

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7 - Flash Tattoos

Commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event with a tattoo from Moonlight Tattoo Fredericton! Visit one of the most experienced tattoo shops in the city on Saturday, April 6, and get tattooed with a variety of predetermined designs available on Flash Day at a special rate with the idea of leaving a permanent memory, of a fleeting and ephemeral moment like the eclipse! Visit their social media pages for more information.

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8 - Community Viewing Parties

Local establishments throughout the Fredericton Capital Region are celebrating the eclipse with their own viewing parties! For a unique viewing and tasting experience, check out the events held at OG Ales in Harvey, York County Cider in Fredericton, Eclipse Happy Hour at SMTR.36 and Sunset Meadery at SMEC.

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9 - Introduction to Night Sky Photography

Have you ever wanted desperately to capture the beautiful night sky in a photo just for none of the stars or moon to show up how you'd hoped? This workshop may be for you! Brad Perry, a talented astrophotographer, is offering a beginner to intermediate-level photography workshop for anyone with a DSLR/mirrorless camera on Saturday, April 6, from 9 to 11:30am at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. The free workshop will be hands-on, covering all the necessary equipment and resources, guidance for planning and predicting photo opportunities, and basic technical methodology. Learn how different moon phases affect photography, how to photograph the Northern Lights, take a glance at eclipses, and more!

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10 – Astronomy Workshops All Weekend

RASC NB Astronomers are offering presentations on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 at the Public Library on various educational topics. Have you ever considered buying a telescope but did not know what to buy? Join local amateur astronomers to learn the main types of telescopes and the benefits of each kind. Browse the various telescopes to see what they look like and learn how they work, along with specially designed solar telescopes and how to adapt a standard telescope or binoculars for observing solar events. Want to learn more about the Solar System? Join members of the local astronomy clubs in Fredericton to learn about the solar system. Start the tour with our sun and stop by each of our neighbouring planets within our Milky Way Galaxy. Understand the orbit of our moon and planet Earth and how celestial objects will align for the total solar eclipse happening on April 8!

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Looking for a souvenir to remember this awe-inspiring celestial event? EclipseFest Fredericton has partnered with Mayday Print & Swagshop to provide souvenirs to mark this extraordinary astronomical phenomenon! Shirts, hoodies, t-shirts, hats, mugs & tumblers and more! Order your EclipseFest merchandise here. BONUS - With every order, you will receive a pair of solar glasses for safely viewing the eclipse.

Well, there you have it: the top 10 activities to check out while you're in the Fredericton Capital Region for EclipseFest! Let yourself be inspired by the incredible natural phenomenon through all the fun and educational opportunities leading up to the total eclipse. We can't wait for you to join us in celebrating and safely viewing this once-in-a-lifetime event!