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October's annular eclipse over the U.S. begins at the Oregon Coast

A person stands on the Oregon Dunes.
Oregon Coast Visitors Association
The 2023 annular eclipse will make first landfall in North America at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on the coast.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, an annular solar eclipse will make its North American debut on the Oregon Coast.

“We’re very excited that the eclipse will first make landfall at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, here on the Oregon Coast,” said
Karen Olson with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association.

She said a good section of the coast, from just south of Lincoln City to south of Bandon, will be in the “path of annularity.” There, the sun will appear as a brilliant ring, nearly—but not completely—eclipsed by the moon.

Image of a ring of Fire eclipse.
During an annular solar eclipse, the moon does not completely cover the sun as it passes, leaving some sunlight visible. Because the moon appears smaller under these circumstances, it cannot fully block out the sun, forming what's called a "ring of fire." Certified eclipse glasses must be worn while viewing throughout the entire event to prevent eye injury.

Olson urges eclipse-watchers to consider timing. The event begins around 8 a.m. with full annularity at 9:15 a.m.

“This is an experience for the early birds,” said Olson.

Then, Olson said, there’s the choice of where to watch. “You’re gonna be looking away from the ocean towards the southeast. Think of a place that’s going to have a good view of the morning sun.”

Olson said parking will be tight, so have a backup plan. And she urged anyone viewing the eclipse from the beach should know the tides, stay off logs and watch for sneaker waves.

During an annular (ring) eclipse, there is no time when it is safe to look directly at the sun without certified solar filters such as eclipse glasses. Olson said eclipse glasses and other related items can be purchased through the Oregon Coast Visitors Association. Oregon Welcome Centers, as well as some Oregon State Parks, will supply eclipse glasses to visitors while supplies last.

In the days and hours leading up to the event, check local weather forecasts, Olson suggested. While everyone is hoping for clear skies on eclipse day, she said it’s not uncommon to have foggy mornings on the coast in October.

Oregon Coast Eclipse Events

Olson said lots of coastal communities will be hosting special events around the eclipse. Here's a short list:

Solar Eclipse Breakfast, Depoe Bay (Oct. 14, 2023): Head to the whale-watching capital of the Coast to see the eclipse and do good at the same time. The Marine Corps Toys for Tots is holding a fundraiser set for 8-11 a.m. at the Fishing Rock Eatery & Lounge. Tickets include eggs Benedict, corned beef hash and toast plus one mimosa or juice, as well as viewing glasses, a raffle and eclipse-watching. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day-of.

Dark Days Solar Eclipse Music Festival, Yachats (Oct. 13-14, 2023): Music lovers will want plan to stay in the artsy town of Yachats for two days of live music to round out your eclipse viewing. Passes are available for just Friday (six bands, $25), just Saturday (13 bands, $35) or the full weekend ($50). The party happens at the Yachats Commons.

Circles in the Sand, Florence (Oct. 14, 2023): Watch in awe as expert sand artist Denny Dyke creates mesmerizing labyrinth designs on the beach at this free event, open to all. Walk along the sandy labyrinth with loved ones and enjoy the time by the sea. This event is set for 3-9 p.m. at Driftwood Shores (sand art starts at 3 p.m.; walk-through starts at 5 p.m.). Parking is limited so carpooling is encouraged.

Eclipse Viewing Family Fun Festival, Reedsport (Oct. 13-14, 2023): Kick off your eclipse weekend with artisans and makers lining the sidewalks of Old Town Reedsport from 5-8 p.m. Friday evening. Join Two-Shy Brewery for live music Friday and Saturday. Saturday morning, all are welcome to the Rainbow Plaza 7 a.m.-noon for vendors, music and family activities including a free Sugar Shack donut for the first 50 people. Grab free eclipse glasses at the Umpqua Discovery Center. Stay in town to shop, hike or hang out by the water after the eclipse.

Ring of Fire Revelry Eclipse Block Party, North Bend (Oct. 14, 2023): This coastal community is hosting a day of live music, face painting, chainsaw carving, dancing, prizes and 20+ food and drink truck vendors. Free eclipse glasses are available while supplies last. The fun is set for 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at North Bend City Hall.

Eclipse Party at Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay (Oct. 14, 2023): Join rangers and astronomy educators from around the state who will have telescopes set up to look at the sun and sunspots. The event starts at 8 a.m. near the park’s Observation Building (eclipse begins at 8:04, maximum is at 9:18, ends at 10:38). While the event is free, parking is $5 for day use; you may also park at the Sunset Bay day-use area and hike in. Carpooling is recommended.

Festival of Light Watch Party, Bandon (Oct. 14, 2023): Bring your blanket and chairs to Bullards Beach, just north of the Coquille River Lighthouse, just before the partial eclipse begins at 8:05 a.m. Oregon State Parks will have a limited amount of eclipse glasses. Enjoy the stunning landscapes of the sea stacks off the coastline. Or watch the event in Bandon at the South Jetty and spend the day in Old Town Bandon.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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