Rain or shine, Hampton prepared to host solar eclipse event Monday

Whether Monday brings rain or shine, cloud cover or clear blue skies, the eclipse show will go on in Hampton.

Event organizer Karen Bamesberger said she is watching the weather forecast closely, as are a lot of people with eclipse-related plans, though she is optimistic that the crowd size, and the overall experience, will be strong in Hampton.
“The good thing in Hampton is that even if it is a little bit cloudy we will be able to experience the darkness and the show will go on,” Bamesberger said Monday. “We’re planning for a good day.”
The Hampton Booster Club and Hampton Community Club are co-sponsoring a solar eclipse viewing Monday, hoping to draw as many as 2,000 people to the north baseball field. An estimated 600-800 students from several area schools are expected to attend what is intended to be a “kid-friendly” event.
“That’s the guessing game,” Bamesberger said. “Exactly how many people are we going to have?”
The gates will open at 9:30 a.m., with all guests receiving eclipse viewing glasses and a commemorative bracelet.
“We will shut the gates when we run out of glasses, however people with glasses can still get in,” she noted. Admission is $2 per person.
The program is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with the Star Spangled Banner, followed by a scientific explanation of what’s about to happen. At 11:30 a.m., the Omaha Tribe from Mead, Neb., will perform dances, celebrating both the eclipse and Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood.
Darkness is expected to begin at 11:35 a.m., and shortly after noon astronaut Clayton Anderson will arrive via helicopter. Weather permitting, he will be wearing his spacesuit. Anderson will then present a program titled “Dare to be Extraordinary.”
Fireworks will light the sky shortly after the eclipse, and the program will conclude with a solar eclipse magic show by Travis Newcombe.
“We’re celebrating more than just the eclipse,” Bamesberger concluded. “We have Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of statehood, which the Omaha Tribe will be recognizing, and then Astro Clay wants to give a challenge to kids with his ‘Dare to be Extraordinary’ presentation. He will be explaining how it took him 11 times of applying to be an astronaut and our course we’ll a little bit of magic at the end.”
Bamesberger said she expects to see guests finding their way to Hampton later this week, setting up campers and tents perhaps as early as Thursday or Friday.

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