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ERCA to Host Eclipse Events

Essex Region –  With the Essex Region’s south shore in the path of totality for the April 8, 2024 Great North American Eclipse, the Essex Region Conservation Authority is hosting two special events along the shores of Lake Erie.

The Total Eclipse of the Park at the John R. Park Homestead is a family-friendly eclipse viewing event.  Activities include a sun and moon costume contest, a Pinhole Projector craft, Time Telling with the Sun stories, and a shadow theatre. Tickets for this event are available on the ERCA website at .


Celest-Fest at the Beach will take place at Holiday Beach Conservation Area, with 99.99% totality, and will feature a kids’ craft area and nature walks and talks. “Guests will be encouraged to pay attention to their surroundings as animals like birds that are usually silent at night may abruptly stop singing, and insects like crickets that are active at night may start chirping,” said Danielle Breault Stuebing, ERCA’s Director of Communications & Outreach.  “This is a rare and wonderful opportunity to witness first-hand how much of an impact the sun has on the planet and its inhabitants.” Tickets for the Holiday Beach Celest-Fest are available on the ERCA website at .


EPIC wineries will be selling wine-by-the glass at both locations, and food and beverage will also be available for purchase.  Each ticket at both locations includes a pair of ISO- and CE-Certified eclipse glasses, and ERCA recommends wearing these viewing glasses at all times.


“This is really a special occurrence, with the last total eclipse visible in our region in 1979, and the next one not anticipated for at least two decades,” Breault Stuebing goes on to say. “The chance to view the eclipse along the shoreline, in nature, with your family can be an awe-inspiring and memory-making experience.”


The eclipse begins at 1:59pm and concludes at 4:29pm, with the total eclipse taking place from 3:13pm – 3:17pm in the Essex region, which will be the first region in mainland Canada to experience this natural phenomenon. Tickets are $15 per person, with a 20% discount for Seasonal Pass holders.


 Both locations will open at 9am and guests are encouraged to arrive early as traffic volumes are expected to be high. Tickets are only available for pre-purchasing – no tickets will be available at the gate.


ERCA will also host an Eclipse Evening talk with Steve Pellarin, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Windsor. This free talk will take place at the John R. Park Homestead on March 22 at 6:30pm, and guests can learn more about what to expect on the day of this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. While tickets are free, space is limited and so reserve your seat at


Finally, on April 8, Hillman Marsh Conservation Area will also be open for eclipse viewing, Located in the path of totality in Leamington, Ontario, just moments away from Point Pelee National Park of Canada, the Conservation Area is expansive with uninterrupted views, but onsite facilities such as parking and washrooms are limited. Parking will be allocated on a first come-first served basis. Admission to parking lot: $10/vehicle based on availability. Walk in admission: $5/per person. Please note that ERCA does not recommend parking along the roadside for safety reasons. Guests are responsible for securing their own eclipse viewing glasses if planning to attend this location.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province of Ontario in 1973 and governed by local municipalities. For 50 years, it has delivered programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region.

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