Kids prepared for it in schools while adults took time away from work and their busy schedules to join in on the fun Monday afternoon as people throughout Butler County got together for fun watching parties during the solar eclipse.
In El Dorado, the Kansas Oil Museum hosted an event that brought in far more than 100 viewers, who enjoyed a presentation on the history of eclipses, a lunch bar and those special viewing glasses needed to view the eclipse without risk of damaging their eyes.
“I thought it was really good. It’s one of the few events we have here, where you have a smattering of everybody in the community,” said Loren Jack, a museum board member.
Ardath Lawson, a full-time worker at the museum and history enthusiast, had quite a bit of fun the past few weeks digging deep into eclipses and their history. She
“I kind of miss the fact that I didn’t get to see its full totality, but it was very strange. It’s very unusual to see evening lighting coming from straight up in the middle of the sky,” Lawson said. “I did get to see the shadow of the eclipse in the leaves of the trees. It’s like weird little half-moon slivers, so that was interesting.”
Indeed, there was a bit of a mixed reaction throughout the area and even the country. While this was a total eclipse, only certain cities throughout the country were along the exact path line the moon followed during the afternoon when it crossed in front of the sun. Place like Topeka and Kansas City experienced far more of a contrast as total darkness hit those cities. Buildings in those downtowns actually turned on office lights that were clearly visible as if it was night time. Those in Butler County didn’t necessarily get that full experience.
Some in Butler County didn’t get to experience any of it at all. El Dorado’s school district had to cancel its viewings scheduled for the students after learning that a large portion of the special eclipse-viewing glasses shipped to the district turned out to not be certified. With no way of telling which glasses were usable and which weren’t, the school had to cancel the outdoor viewings entire. The kids didn’t have to miss out on the event entire; NASA broadcast the entire event on TV, so kids watched on the TVs in the schools.
In Augusta, viewers flocked to Shryock park to get a good spot for the eclipse.