RANDOLPH, NJ - Many Residents of Randolph and surrounding communities came together to witness the eclipse on Monday August 21. Artworks Studios in Randolph supplied everything needed to make a NASA - approved projector at Freedom Park, people just brought their own cereal box.
Many people brought extra boxes, everyone was talking, sharing, and showing each other how to make the projectors. It was estimated that close to 400 people were at Freedom Park Monday. Many people had the glasses too, and they were swapping with people who had built projectors to get a different view.
Artworks director and organizer Kelly Varga expressed, "It was just a really special day, to feel that sense of community, and to be with so many others who were excited about the amazing phenomenon happening above us."
The parking lot of Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna also turned into a solar eclipse viewing party as people watched the big event from inside cars, on top of cars and next to cars.
Patchy clouds that moved in and out of the way during the afternoon did little to hamper the view for those gathered at the park. Approved eclipse viewing glasses were hard to come by, so some who came to watch the moon partially block the sun had to practice the arts of sharing and self-restraint (looking everywhere but up when a friend was using the ultra-dark shades).
"My neighbor is a physics teacher and he got me three pairs of the glasses," said Heather Fichter. She was one of three parents accompanying a group of eight Roxbury teens at Horseshoe Lake. The teens - including six boys who will be playing on the high school's freshman football team this year - passed around the glasses to take turns looking. At the 2:44 p.m. peak of the eclipse, they saw about 75 percent of the sun being blocked by the moon .
One of the parents was Roxbury High School math teacher Jill Scalera. She wasn't the only one who thought the event - though not a total eclipse in Roxbury - was "awesome."
Across the parking lot, Andrea Buccelli of Randolph sat on top of a friend's Jeep and peered skyward. "It was cool," she said. "The clouds covered it up once in a while, but it was cool."
Almost as cool as the eclipse itself were Scott and Ronney Handschuch. They stayed in their car, reclined the seats, donned their viewing glasses and watched the show, in total comfort, through their windshield.