Leadership Center prepares to entertain crowd of locals, visitors

The Leadership Center is hosting a big event Monday as the solar eclipse passes overhead. People from as far as British Columbia, Canada and Mexico are making their way towards Aurora to see the spectacle. The staff at The Leadership Center and the Edgerton Explorit Center have paired up to make the viewing as positive as possible for community members and visitors.

Dan Glomski of the Edgerton Center is going to be leading people through the eclipse. Since this will likely be the first total solar eclipse that most of the viewers have been able to witness, he will be making announcements throughout the event.
“Starting before the partial eclipse begins I’ll talk about safety, basic crowd etiquette, and general rules,” Glomski said. “And then for the other announcements I’ll talk about eclipse history and maybe take an audience poll to see if anybody in the crowd has seen one before. The last two announcements will basically be about what you can see and what you can look for during the total part of the eclipse. Things like the 360 degree twilight light affect, which is when the shadow of the moon is above you during totality and it looks like the sun is setting all around you. I will also tell people to look for stars and planets in the daytime and make sure they have their viewing glasses off during totality.”
Glomski continued to say that his goal is to guide people safely through the eclipse and make sure that they get as much out of it as they possibly can.
There will be a similar viewing led at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds where former Aurora Middle School science teacher Ron Hayden will be guiding the crowd. The viewing at the fairgrounds is the same basic idea as the one at The Leadership Center.
“I’m giving Ron my script since I’ve seen one of these and Ron has not,” Glomski said. “He’ll adapt it to his style and will guide people through the event out there. The nice thing about the event at the fairgrounds is that the parking is right there so you can park and observe, but at The Leadership Center, unless you’re staying, you’ve got to walk or take a shuttle there.”  
Mailé Ilac Boeder, executive director at The Leadership Center, stated that only guests who booked a room, dorm-style cabin or tent site at The Leadership Center will be allowed to park on site.
“If you’re just coming for the day and you didn’t reserve any tent space or anything, then you don’t get parking and you’ll be parking at the satellite places and either walking or taking the shuttle buses,” Boeder said.
Boeder also reported that the hotel rooms were all sold out as of Aug. 2, but that there are still tenting spots and dorm-style cabins available.
The shuttle buses will be running to the fairgrounds and people who want to take the walking path can park at the softball field parking lot and Streeter Park.
The Edgerton Center has invited a few area schools to view the eclipse from The Leadership Center, and the University of Minnesota and University of Saint Catherine’s, both from Minnesota, will be staying at the Leadership Center. Saint Catherine’s has the largest female only astronomy department in the country.
“I’m excited about the fact that the University of Minnesota and Saint Catherine’s decided to come here,” Boeder said. “They’re working with Glomski and they’re working with the Stuhr Museum. Rumor has it that we will probably have at least one weather balloon launch from here too, which is always really cool.”
Boeder also stated that they will have telescopes on property as Glomski is bringing one and she believes one of the two universities is bringing high-powered models.
“I think that the education is going to be really neat,” Boeder said. “And what we’ve heard is that the kind of people who chase these things all over the world, the kind of people who are attracted to this kind of phenomenon are either families or people who will geek out about this, so the community that happens on the grounds where people are viewing is pretty cool too.”
The Leadership Center is getting ready to entertain the crowds and has a slew of activities planned. The pool will be open in the morning, but a pass must be purchased for that since they have to hire lifeguards. There will also be food, catch and release fishing, lawn games, and the gym will be open to play games as well. TV, board games and ping-pong will be available inside with basketball, volleyball, sand volleyball, horse shoes, giant jenga, corn hole and ladder golf available on the grounds.
Boeder also said that they are kicking around the idea of showing a movie one night on an outside wall. The AACD is also planning to be on the grounds to sell t-shirts and glasses and they will be urging guests to go into Aurora. Culligan will be there providing free water.
While all of the plans have to be prepared ahead of time, there is a chance that it may be overcast Monday and the viewing quality will be diminished greatly. In that case, Glomski will be leaving Aurora to travel somewhere where the skies are clear.
“If it’s overcast you’re not going to see the corona and you’re not going to see the 360 degree twilight effect,” Glomski siad. “It’s going to get dark, so it’ll be interesting from that standpoint. You might just want to be outside to see it get dark in the middle of the day. So there is somewhat of an experience to be had, but let’s say clouds are going to put a real damper on things. I’ve seen one of these and I’ve been waiting 20 years to see number two. If it’s cloudy, I’m going to fly. It would be a bummer if it were cloudy.”
However, Glomski is excited and fingers are crossed that the weather will cooperate.
“We are just really excited to showcase Aurora to all the people coming in,” said Micheala Olsen, events coordinator at The Leadership Center. “And we’re excited to have Dan who is so ecstatic and knowledgeable. We have learned so much from him he is just so passionate about this.”


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