Once in a lifetime encounter with the cosmos at the Ellwanger Estate B&B.
In just a few short months, the City of Rochester will be in the path of a truly rare experience — the total solar eclipse in April of 2024. The next one will not happen here until 2144.
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will occur in Rochester, New York. Rochester is very close to the eclipse centerline, which heads out into the open waters of Lake Ontario just north of the city. This close proximity will result in a very healthy duration of totality for Rochester, about 3 minutes and 39 seconds in the downtown. As is the case with Lake Erie to the west, weather experts think the cold lake waters of Lake Ontario could aid eclipse viewers by preventing clouds from forming above and around the lake. Below, we’ve provided key details about the eclipse in Rochester for locals and visitors planning on viewing the eclipse from that city.
“It will look like a velvet hole in the sky. We’ll see the stars come out around the sun. And 365 degrees around the horizon will be a sunset glow and your world will be forever changed”, said Debra Ross, Chair of Rochester’s Eclipse Task force
Solar eclipse 2024 events in Rochester NY
For the eclipse itself, the Rochester Museum & Science Center is hosting a four-day festival, the ROC the Eclipse Festival, between April 5 and 8. The event, expected to draw thousands each day, will include hands-on activities, speakers, music and food at the RMSC campus at 657 East Ave, Rochester. Activities will be held both inside and outside.
The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester is planning a three-day celebration dedicated to playing with light. For example, visitors will be able to create art on a Lite Brite-like board, craft a kaleidoscope and make shadow puppets. The museum will also showcase a display of space-themed toys and games.
The Memorial Art Gallery and George Eastman Museum, both in Rochester, and the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Caledonia are all planning to hold festivals or special events to mark the eclipse, Schneiderman said. Viewing events are also planned to take place at Tinker Nature Park in Henrietta and at Corn Hill Landing, Rochester Public Market and Parcel 5.
A special viewing event dubbed “Total Eclipse of the Port” is planned State University College at Brockport – where the center of the line of totality grazes the university’s football field and passes over Brockport’s High School and Middle School. The location gives Brockport an extra five seconds of totality compared to the City of Rochester and other parts of the region. The event will include food trucks and other activities.
The Town of Perinton has also planned a community eclipse watching party “Total Eclipse of the Park” on April 8 at the Perinton Community Center, 1350 Turk Hill Road, Perinton. The family-friendly event will include swimming, a bounce house, food trucks and other activities.
Dozens of other viewing parties are expected to be organized by community groups, said Schneiderman.
RMSC launched a community eclipse ambassador program to train each of the roughly 50 participant groups in the nine-county region about the eclipse, basic astronomy and eclipse viewing safety. Each group will also be outfitted with equipment, including a telescope with solar viewing filter, educational materials and solar viewing glasses. The groups are each expected to host or assist with a eclipse viewing parties.
A traveling eclipse art exhibit by eclipse artist and astronomer Tyler Nordgren will be displayed at a different Rochester area location each month until April 2024. It’s at Flight Wine Bar in Corn Hill Landing in July and will be at the Central Library of Rochester on South Avenue. The exhibit features 30 eclipse posters.
Other events leading up to the April 8, 2024 eclipse will also take place each month around the Rochester region, including talks at various libraries and museums, sky-watching parties and twilight hikes.