SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- All across the country, hotels, restaurants and other businesses are planning celebrations of the “Great American Eclipse” on Monday, August 21. Libraries, planetariums and countless bars -- especially those with rooftop decks -- are hosting eclipse viewing parties and offering Blue Moon beer specials. 

The eclipse, which will be visible from coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly a century, will start locally around 1:20 p.m. and peak at about 2:45 p.m. before ending shortly before 4:00 p.m. The moon will block about 70 percent of the sun in the New York-New Jersey metro area. In other areas of the country, the moon’s shadow will cover the sun entirely, except for its corona.

Several local venues are hosting eclipse-related events:

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Scotch Plains Public Library will host a family friendly Solar Eclipse Celebration beginning at 11:00 a.m. It will feature fun family crafts and activities, and themed treats. Participants will get to create their own pinhole camera. The library will also offer free eclipse glasses while supplies last.

Trailside Nature and Science Center (452 New Providence Road in Mountainside) hosts a viewing party from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Members of the Amateur Astronomers, Inc. will be on hand for the viewing. The organization was founded in 1949 to promote an interest in the science of astronomy through activities and programs. 

Fanwood Grille  (34 South Martine Ave.) is offering two eggs – sunnyside up, of course – with a sausage patty on a roll with black coffee for $6. The lunch special will be blackened chicken served on as a sandwich or atop a bed of greens with sun-dried tomatoes.

Nick’s Pizza is selling its regular cheese pies for $8.21 to match the date of the eclipse (8/21/17). Toppings will be an extra charge, however.

Rocko’s Ice Cream will offer a free “Solar Slushy” with any ice cream purchase.

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