WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — They’re calling it the “Total Eclipse of the Park.”

In one year, on April 8, 2024, the North Country will witness the 2024 solar eclipse.

solar eclipse is when the moon passes through the central part of the Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, and completely blocks direct light from the sun. When an eclipse occurs, some locations will witness a full shadow, called totality, and others will see a partial shadow.

During this darkness, temperatures can drop more than 15 degrees Fahrenheit and crickets may even begin chirping as if it is nighttime.

The sun will disappear in Watertown for one of the longest periods compared to other locations in New York. According to scientists, the total eclipse could last up to 3 minutes and 35 seconds in Watertown and the immediate surrounding areas.

To prepare for this natural phenomenon, the City of Watertown’s Solar Eclipse Committee has planned a viewing event at Thompson Park, called “Total Eclipse of the Park.”

“At Thompson Park, we have the advantage of lots of open space, which is great for accommodating a lot of people, and it’s also an unobstructed view,” Committee Chair Sarah Compo-Pierce explained. “So people will be able to sit on Kite Hill, or really anywhere else in the park where they feel that they have the best point of view.”

Compo-Pierce said the event will give visitors lots to do.

“We will have all sorts of vendors, we’re hoping for food, different kinds of exhibits, educational activities for children,” she said. “So it will be a mix of different things with the main activity obviously being the viewing of the eclipse.”

And although it’s a year out, hotel accommodation may go fast. The City is expecting thousands of visitors from around the world will visit the area for the eclipse.

“We do expect the hotels in town to sell out,” Compo-Pierce stated. “So we have a lot to offer here and this is a great opportunity to show all that off to people who will come for the special event, but hopefully return sometime in the future.

So get your eclipse goggles ready for April 8, 2024.