On August 21, 2017 will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. The last one occurred February 26, 1979. Unfortunately, not many people saw it because it clipped just five states in the Northwest. This eclipse will go straight through the Old 96 District.

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between Earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth.
  • A solar eclipse can only take place at the phase of new moon, when the moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth and its shadows fall upon Earth’s surface. If you’re in the dark part of that shadow (the umbra), you’ll see a total eclipse. If you’re in the light part (the penumbra), you’ll see a partial eclipse.
  • After traversing the United States from Oregon in just 94 minutes, the Great American Eclipse of 2017 leaves the United States at, you guessed it, South Carolina.
  •  The Old 96 District will be a significant destination for the eclipse because it will be the nearest spot within the path of totality for at least 100 million Americans in the Atlantic Seaboard and Florida.
  • The path of the total solar eclipse lies exclusively within the United States. If you live on the east coast and want to see the total eclipse, then make plans to come to the Old 96 District now. You will observe the eclipse free of city light pollution.
  • The eclipse activities are not only on August 21. We have the weekend filled with activities for you to enjoy. When you have had your fill of eclipse events, take advantage of the many outdoor activities in the Old 96 District. Dive into our history through the many historical sites and museums we have to offer.

More Eclipse Facts

Length of Totality by Town

Abbeville County: Abbeville 2:12, Antreville 2:19, Calhoun Falls 1:20, Donalds 2:35, Due West 2:31, Lake Secession 2:12, Lowndesville 1:52

Edgefield County: Edgefield 1:31, Johnston 2:01, Trenton 1:37

Greenwood County: Bradley 2:00, Cokesbury 2:33, Cornonca 2:35, Greenwood 2:28, Hodges 2:32, Kirksey 2:16, Ninety Six 2:32, Troy 1:36, Verdery 2:21, Ware Shoals 2:37

Laurens County: Clinton 2:27, Cross Hill 2:37, Joanna 2:29, Laurens 2:30, Mountville 2:36, Princeton 2:37, Waterloo 2:37, Watts Mill 2:28

McCormick County: McCormick 1:05, Mount Carmel :58, Plum Branch :23, Willington :49

Citizen CATE

Lander University, in Greenwood, is one of five official sites for South Carolina to be selected as an observation point for the eclipse, through a national research experiment known as Citizen CATE (Continental America Telescopic Eclipse).

Greenwood in the Top 19

Greenwood, South Carolina in the Old 96 District is listed as one of 19 best places to watch the solar eclipse by Men’s Journal. We already love Greenwood, with a hip uptown, original festivals, and Lake Greenwood State Park. Greenwood is one of the closest spots to the center line of totality. 2:28 of total darkness makes Greenwood the place to be August 21.

It’s About Totality

Not to cast a shadow on things, but likening a partial eclipse to a total eclipse is like comparing almost dying to dying. I know that 48 percent sounds like a lot. It isn’t. You won’t even notice your surroundings getting dark. And it doesn’t matter whether the partial eclipse above your location is 48, 58, or 98 percent. Only totality reveals the true celestial spectacle: the diamond ring, the Sun’s glorious corona, strange colors in our sky, and seeing stars in the daytime.

Nature Will Get Weird

Depending on your surroundings, as totality nears you may experience strange things. Look. You’ll notice a resemblance to the onset of night, though not exactly. Areas much lighter than the sky near the Sun lie all around the horizon. Shadows look different. Listen. Usually, any breeze will dissipate and birds (many of whom will come in to roost) will stop chirping. It is quiet. Feel. A 10°–15° F drop in temperature is not unusual.

Safety First

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality. You can purchase eclipse glasses and viewers or make your own. Follow additional safety instructions here.


Laurens County

 Laurens Co. Library “Viewing on the LawnThe Laurens County Library is excited about the upcoming eclipse. They are registered with the Space Science Institute to celebrate the eclipse in August. The Library will be hosting a “viewing on the lawn” on the day of the eclipse, and stressing safe viewing. They are located at 1017 W Main St, Laurens, SC 29360 and can be reached by calling 864-681-READ.

Downtown Laurens “Dark Side of the Moon”-See The Dark Side of the Moon in Laurens. The total solar eclipse isn’t the only thing catching eyes! Head down to the Historic Square in Laurens on Sunday, August 20th from 2-4 PM to admire classic cars. The Pontiac Grand Prix and Palmetto Chapter are hosting a cruise in to celebrate the eclipse. The Laurens County Chamber of Commerce will join them to hand out viewing glasses and inform guests of viewing sites around the county! Call the Chamber at 864-833-2716 for more information.

McCormick County

Hickory Knob Paddle ProgramHickory Knob State Park is offering a special eclipse paddle program. Paddle your way down Lake Thurmond to Baker Creek State Park. Watch the eclipse away from city lights, blanketed in nature!

McCormick Public Library Total Solar Eclipse – View the  total solar eclipse at the McCormick County Library. Receive free safety glasses to view the eclipse safely. The partial phase will start at 1:10 pm and the total eclipse will be visible at about 2:40 pm. The total eclipse will last about 1 minute.  The event starts at 1:00.

Greenwood County

Inn on the Square -Enjoy an eclipse weekend at Inn on the Square. This one-of-a-kind boutique hotel is offering a lodging and food package eclipse special. Spend the eclipse weekend seeing the sites in Greenwood and top off your trip with a once in a lifetime viewing, 2:28 minutes of total darkness!

Eclipsefest – Join the boat social celebration on Lake Greenwood on August 21. The party begins at 1pm at Fellowship Camp and Conference Center.