Many local residents preferred watching the eclipse in a group at various viewing parties and events Monday.
Gatherings occurred at Thoroughbred Park in downtown Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park, Fayette Mall and the Arboretum. Area universities, including Eastern and Kentucky, hosted viewing events.
Several local and Central Kentucky public and private schools canceled classes Monday so students could watch the rare event.
Among those at Thoroughbred Park were Linda and Terry Sanders, both in their late 60s. They remember the last total eclipse that spanned the country in 1979 and considered traveling to a place where the eclipse was total this year.
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Instead, the couple stayed home and picked up one of the 500 free pairs of eclipse glasses handed out at Thoroughbred.
“I love how the city did this. It was a really good idea,” Terry Sanders said.
It was the first eclipse for Tom Butler, 44. Making it extra special was experiencing it with his family, including 10-year old Elena and 7-year-old Nicholas.
“It’s really remarkable. I’m sorry we didn’t go see the totality, but it’s hard to pull off,” the Lexington resident said. “We have been talking about this all week and it’s a really special time. In 2024, we’ll go to totality.”
Perhaps fueling that desire to see the total eclipse was the 5 percent of sun that peaked through the sky in Lexington. He said he was a little surprised the sky was as bright as it was.
But to see the looks on his children’s faces was the ultimate reward for Butler.
“They were delighted and it was special to see experience it with them,” he saiid.