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SolarFest, Tuesday, April 8, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park

SolarFest offers April 8 eclipse viewing, science activities

Eberly College of Science partners for community event at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park
11 January 2024

Happy Valley is in a path of 95% totality for the solar eclipse that will darken the skies on Monday, April 8, and the Penn State and local communities are invited to join Eberly College of Science faculty, staff, and students for a public viewing and science activities. The college is partnering with the State College Spikes to host the SolarFest event at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
“Bringing science into our communities is a key mission for the college and our department,” said Randy McEntaffer, department head and professor of astronomy and astrophysics. “As in years past, we’re so excited to experience this phenomenon alongside our fellow community members and share the science behind it.” 
Admission will be free for SolarFest, with ballpark gates opening at noon. Community members attending SolarFest will receive a free pair of eclipse safety glasses, provided by the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium, with which to view the movement of the moon into the sun’s path. The partial eclipse will begin to be seen at 2:04 p.m., reach its maximum eclipse at 3:20 p.m., and end at 4:32 p.m.

NASA's 2023-2024 Solar Eclipse Map. Credit: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; Eclipse Calculations By Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Credit: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Eric Feigelson, Distinguished Senior Scholar and professor of astronomy and astrophysics, will make a special presentation during the event and serve as emcee while the eclipse takes place, describing the science behind this majestic phenomenon.
SolarFest is to set to feature a wide variety of interactive science-themed displays for attendees of all ages. Astronomy and astrophysics faculty and instructors from the Penn State Rockets for Inclusive Science Education outreach program will join members of Penn State Students for the Exploration and Development of Space in leading multiple rocket launches, and NASA’s livestream will be displayed on the ballpark’s video board. Ballpark concessions and Kids Zone games will also be available during the event. 
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming fans from across Happy Valley to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to SolarFest for what promises to be an astronomical event on April 8,” said Spikes General Manager Scott Walker. “We invite everyone to join us and the Eberly College of Science to witness this spectacular solar eclipse and reach a better understanding of how, together, we can reach for the stars.”
A full schedule of SolarFest activities will be announced as the eclipse draws nearer. To get more event information and learn about the solar eclipse phenomenon, visit


Parking is available to the public at $1 per hour in the Commuter lots (Stadium West, Jordan East, and Porter North) using ParkMobile zone 95112. Those with a valid Penn State parking permit may park in the Commuter lots at no charge. Due to the event, some lots may reach capacity, Should that occur, please follow overflow signs and directions from staff.