Press Release

EclipseFest Fredericton: A Celestial Community Celebration

March 7, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EclipseFest Fredericton: A Celestial Community Celebration

March 7, 2024, Fredericton, N.-B.: The Fredericton Capital Region is all set to host EclipseFest, a long weekend of events and activities to celebrate the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers the entire face of the Sun, blocking off the sunlight temporarily. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for most people to witness this event. 

A total solar eclipse is a rare and spectacular event and the eclipse on April 8 will cross a narrow strip of North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Fredericton will be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse, which will begin at 3:23 pm. It will immerse Fredericton in darkness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, offering spectators a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

“EclipseFest is not just an astronomical celebration; it's an invitation to the community and visitors to join in the festivities and experience family-friendly events” said Deputy Mayor, Greg Ericson. We may expect to see thousands of people travel here to see this rare and spectacular event.” 

EclipseFest will feature a Planetarium show all weekend with Science East, exhibits, special programming, nightly star parties, astronomy workshops and presentations. For the big event on Monday afternoon there are a few Eclipse Viewing locations for the public to gather. The EclipseFest Watch Party in a festive atmosphere in the Garrison Night Market space on Carleton Street runs from 2 - 6pm. In addition to vendors, visitors can enjoy hands on science and space exhibits, music, poetry, theatre, and a beer garden featuring specially brewed Eclipse themed beverages. Astronomers from RASC (Royal Astronomy Society of Canada -New Brunswick Chapter) will be on hand with telescopes and be available for questions and observations. 

“Everyone should plan to acquire their own glasses as limited quantities will be available at the event. ISO certified viewers are essential for eye protection and safety” said event organizer Mary Ellen Hudson. 

At the height of darkness, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) 403 Helicopter Squadron will do a flypast over the Wolastoq (Saint John River). This is a RCAF tradition that dates back to 1945 when the Royal Canadian Air Force viewed a total eclipse of the sun from the air for photographic and scientific observations. There will also be public watch events at Picaroons Roundhouse, OG Ales, York Country Cider, Stmr.36 BBQ and Social, and Cumberland Bay in Arcadia. 

“The Fredericton Capital Region is the ideal location to gather and witness this spectacular event for nearby cities that are not experiencing the Eclipse like Moncton and Saint John and Halifax. Whether you are an astronomer or simply curious about this grand spectacle of nature, EclipseFest is an exciting time to visit Fredericton NB," said Stacey Russell, Manager, Fredericton Capital Region Tourism. We have many events lined up as part of EclipseFest weekend and our industry partners have really come onboard to be part of the fun. “We are looking forward to a busy April weekend and early kick off to our tourism season,” said Russell.

A key partner for EclipseFest is the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)-NB Centre, an organization actively involved with outreach and astronomy education, especially the upcoming Eclipse. “We are happy to provide free astronomy talks and star gazing walks during EclipseFest,” said Chris Weadick, RASC NB member. “We also want to emphasize the importance of eye safety during the Eclipse and advise everyone not to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection.” 

EclipseFest Fredericton events and activities are found at EclipseFestFredericton.ca.

For more information on Solar Eclipses can be found by clicking here. 

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For more information or interviews:
Fredericton Capital Region Tourism
Mary Ellen Hudson
Co-Chair, EclipseFest Fredericton
maryellen.hudson@fredericton.ca

or

Royal Astronomy Society of Canada - New Brunswick Chapter
Chris Weadick
Co-Chair, EcipseFest Fredericton
chris.weadick@gmail.com