Cedar Falls Library Planning Special Eclipse Viewing Event

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa  --  An event 99 years in the making is now just hours away.

People across Iowa are bracing for the Great American Solar Eclipse, and as KWWL's Elizabeth Amanieh reports, the Cedar Falls Public Library is planning a special celebration.

"The eclipse has been just huge across the United States, everyone is excited, and the response has been unprecedented here," said Erin Thompson with the Cedar Falls library. "We were anticipating interest, of course, but the response has just been crazy."

The library's phones have been ringing off the hook in anticipation of the solar eclipse, and they've been getting some interesting questions.

"Someone asking if we could reschedule the eclipse, which, it's the sun, we can't really reschedule the sun," laughed Thompson.

But one thing is certain: come Monday, people will be trading in books for the special eclipse glasses to watch the magic unfold. The library will also be handing out 200 pairs of the glasses for people who have not already gotten their own.

A watch party will be hosted outside in the library's parking lot, and even if the weather doesn't work in their favor, the eclipse won't be missed; they'll also be livestreaming NASA's coverage.

"We're hoping to have it up in four places simultaneously inside the library," said Thompson.

A team from NASA will be chasing the solar eclipse in two jets. From their vantage point, they'll witness an eclipse almost three times longer than the one people will see from the ground. But the hype is still real for those who might not have the clearance to reach the sky.

"Friends from our church, they're getting up at three in the morning and driving to Missouri, or wherever it is, and they're going to get their five hours ahead of time, and they're taking Eclipse gum. They're in and all in," said Cedar Falls resident Stephen Bailey.

As for Bailey and his family, "We're just going to try and do normal, whatever normal is."

Anyone planning to watch the eclipse on Monday is reminded to wear proper eye-wear. Failure to do so could result in damaged vision.