Where to watch solar eclipse in Bucks County and Philadelphia: Don't forget your glasses

The solar eclipse has captured the nation's attention and Bucks and Montgomery counties are preparing to catch the view.

While Bucks County and most of Pennsylvania are in the path of the eclipse, Erie in northwestern part of the state is in the path of totality and expects big crowds for the 3 minutes and 42 seconds event.

According to Visit Philadelphia, Gilbertsville in Montgomery County is the town in the Philadelphia region that is closest to the path of totality during the April 8 solar eclipse with 91.6% coverage.

Beware of eclipse glasses scammers

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau are warning consumers that scammers may try to sell you knockoffs that could damage your vision.

Legitimate solar-viewing glasses have special filters to protect your eyes; fake glasses do not have those filters. Scammers have been capitalizing on growing consumer demand to buy glasses to view the eclipse and according to the American Astronomical Society, fake glasses have flooded the market.

“Do your research to make sure the glasses you buy will thoroughly protect your eyes and allow you to safely view the solar eclipse,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said in a press release.

More: Where to get solar eclipse glasses, and how to make your own projector

It is recommended that glasses have an ISO rating on the side frame, and check to make sure they're not damaged . Glasses should be marked with the international safety standard – certification number ISO 12312-2.

To check your solar eclipse glasses look at a lamp with the glasses on, as long as it blocks the light out, then they should be good, according to the BBB. Ordinary sunglasses – even darkly shaded ones – should not be used.

If you are shopping online watch out for any misspellings in the listing, and if shopping for glasses online use the NASA list of manufacturers that are making the certified glasses.

If you believe someone sold you a fake pair of solar eclipse glasses, call the Pennsylvania Attorney General Office's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or email us at scam@attorneygeneral.gov.

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Bucks County solar eclipse events

Bucks County Free Library branches to host observation parties

The Bucks County Free Library will host an observation party at its Levittown branch and will livestream the solar eclipse from its Yardley branch.

"Join us at the library to celebrate the solar eclipse event with crafts and activities for children," read a portion of the eclipse party invite from the free library. "Attendees will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses (while supplies last) to view the solar eclipse!"

The watch party begins at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 8, at the Levittown branch, 7311 New Falls Road.

The Bucks County Free Library will also livestream NASA's live broadcast of the solar eclipse from its Yardley branch, 1080 Edgewood Road.

"Join us for a NASA broadcast of the 2024 total solar eclipse," read the invite. "Watch telescope live feeds of the total solar eclipse across the path and grab your eclipse glasses (while supplies last) to view the actual solar eclipse with us at it's maximum coverage around 3:20pm. ln Bucks County, we will see about 90% of the sun covered by the eclipse."

Doylestown Library, 150 S Pine St., will celebrate with "crafts for children, and a live stream of the eclipse's path for all! Last but not least, attendees will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses (while supplies last) to view the solar eclipse."

Grundy Library, Bristol

Grundy Library will have an event from 2:#0 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, including crafts, "live-casting via NASA from the point of totality, and encouraging participants to be citizen scientists by recording data in the Globe Observer App. Additionally, we will offering a raffle to all those attending the Total Eclipse event on April 8 for a Franklin Institute year-long Family Membership." No eclipse glasses will be given out, so bring your own.

Washington Crossing and Fort Washington parks

Fort Washington State Park will host a 30-minute children’s education program about the science behind eclipses beginning at 11 a.m. at the Hawk Watch Deck at Lot 5. The event, “Learn With A Ranger: Eclipses, the Cosmic Ballet,” is for children ages 6-12 and touches on how other cultures have viewed eclipses in the past. The park is located at 447 Militia Hill Road.

Washington Crossing Historic Park is also hosting an eclipse viewing party from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., though the exact meeting location is only available through registration by emailing mtruesdale@pa.gov. The event has also reached its maximum registration to provide free eyewear, so attendees will need to bring their own, wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.

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Evolution Candy at Star Garden Park, Doylestown

The candy store is organizing a watch event at Star Garden Park from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be cotton candy and other treat and snacks with an eclipsed-themed playlist keeping the party going. The store has eclipse glasses available while supplies last. The park off State Street, directly behind Evolution Candy, has outdoor seating and is "an excellent viewing spot."

Tyler State Park has pre-eclipse event

Tyler State Park’s Center for the Arts is hosting Sun, Moon, and Earth, at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 7.

"Whether you’re planning on checking out the eclipse in-person or are just interested in learning more about them, this program will help you understand this upcoming astronomical wonder," read the description from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Staff and volunteers will help with science and art activities meant to shed light on the science of an eclipse. Attendees can also learn how to make their own solar eclipse viewers.

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'Solar eclipse beach party' at Temple University

The Temple University College of Science and Technology is hosting a "Solar Eclipse Beach party" at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 8, at the Beury Hall beach, 1901 N. 13th St., Philadelphia.

"See the eclipse through multiple solar viewing telescopes, on monitors and with protective eyewear", read a portion of Temple University's post for the event. "The eclipse, where the path of the moon crosses in front of the sun, will cover nine-tenths of the sun’s surface locally. This is a 'deep partial' solar eclipse, where the sky will get noticeably darker, brighter stars and the planets Jupiter and Venus will be visible and the sun’s profile will be reduced to a slender crescent.

What you won't find is an actual beach. The area is a grass field near the school's Bell Tower and perfect for blankets and lawn chairs.

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Philadelphia is ready for solar eclipse 2024

Vist Philadelphia also lists spots in Philadelphia to observe the solar ecplise:

  • Cira Green, 129 S. 30th. St.

  • Fairmount Park, accessible via Belmont Ave., Parkside Ave., North 33rd. St., and Girard Ave.

  • The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th. St. Franklin Institute "is holding a free 2024 Solar Eclipse viewing party from 1:30 pm. to 5:30 pm. in front of the museum steps along 20th Street sidewalk." It's billed as a community-wide viewing party where visitors can "safely observe the solar eclipse under our large solar filter tents, or through our specially equipped telescopes—or even your own eclipse glasses."

"Solar Eclipse Viewing" parties are also set for these locations in Philadelphia:

The Falls of Schuylkill Branch Library is holding a solar eclispe event at its location, 3501 Midvale Avenue. Free glasses for safe solar viewing are provided while supplies last and there will also be family-friendly activities. There will be a LightSound device, a tool developed for the blind and low vision community to experience solar eclipses with sound. For more information, astrolab.fas.harvard.edu/LightSound.html

Wyoming Free Library of Philadelphia at 231 E. Wyoming Ave. is also having a party with solar eclipse glasses available as supplies allow. The viewing party will follow with crafts and other activities related to the eclipse. The program is for school age children but all ages are welcome. Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/954097063049969

Marconi Park in South Philly will have a gathering on the west side of Broad Street in the open area near the playground. Free glasses for safe solar viewing will be available as supplies last and there will be family activities. Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/7231867710206972

Solar Eclipse Essentials: Huntingdon Valley Library, 625 Red Lion Road. Educational presentation for grades 4 to adult "to break down the mystery of solar eclipse ... Learn why and how solar eclipses occur, discover the differences between solar and lunar eclipses, and understand the importance of safety and accessibility." Registration required and more information on library website.

What time will the total solar eclipse happen?

Global eclipse events will occur at the following local times:

  • Partial eclipse will first be visible at 11:42 a.m.

  • Full eclipse will first be visible at 12:38 p.m.

  • Maximum eclipse will be visible at 2:17 p.m.

  • Full eclipse will last be visible at 3:55 p.m.

  • Partial eclipse will last be visible at 4:52 p.m.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Where to view the solar eclipse in Philadelphia and Bucks County