All about the eclipse: Kevin Orpurt explains ins and outs of eclipse Saturday

Mar. 13—CORNING — The Corning Irish Heritage Center will celebrate St. Patrick's Day Saturday with its annual with its annual dinner and program. This year will be a bit different though as there will be two entertainment options.

"We have Kevin Orpurt, chief meteorologist with WTHI Channel 10, from Terre Haute coming to speak about the eclipse," said Regina Kahle, president of the Corning Irish Heritage Society. "Before the eclipse program, we will have Celtic music provided by John Ed Albertson that will start at 4:30 p.m."

Admission for the programs as well as the soup supper will be a free-will offering.

Orpurt, who will begin his eclipse talk at 6 p.m., said his program will discuss what will happen during the eclipse and why it happens among other things.

"We're going to talk about why our area will have so much totality, how the animals react during the eclipse, how eclipses happen. We're going to talk about a lot of things and there will be plenty of time for people to ask questions too," said Orpurt.

Animals, for instance, he said may retreat to barns during the eclipse since their instinct is often to go inside when it starts to get dark. Plants may also react to the period of darkness that will last around four minutes in this area, by closing their blooms.

While there's been a lot of talk about the eclipse and the need for special glasses to view the once-in-a-lifetime event, Orpurt is quick to point out the viewing experience will vary depending on location.

"This eclipse can be seen from several locations in the Wabash Valley but the time of totality is going to vary," he said, adding Vincennes is expected to have over four minutes of total darkness, with Terre Haute experiencing around 3 minutes. Paris, Illinois, is expecting around 30 seconds of darkness.

The time of totality though, can also be a impacted by the sun or lack there of. Orpurt said looking back at the data, there have been a lot of rainy or overcast April 8's.

Regardless of how much totality one may get to experience, Orpurt said experiencing an eclipse is an event no one will ever forget.

"There will be other eclipses but not ones directly over the Wabash Valley for a very long time," he said, noting the next big eclipse event will happen in 2121.

For more information on Corning Irish Heritage Center or its Saint Patrick's Day program, contact Kahle at