Sentinel Progress

SWU a prime viewing spot for Aug. 21 solar eclipse

CENTRAL – An event is coming to Central that is unlikely to repeat itself in our lifetimes.

On Aug. 21, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun, but only those within a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights — a total solar eclipse.

Southern Pickens County – specifically Southern Wesleyan University and the town of Central are located right along the center of the path of totality, providing one of the longest viewing times in the nation for the total solar eclipse — a full 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

Southern Wesleyan University is partnering with Pickens County and the town of Central for Eclipse Over Pickens County, a free event for the entire family. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, but premium parking is available for $10. Call Tony Payne at (864) 644-5014 for details on premium parking.

Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets. There will be a live feed on the large video scoreboard at the track for safe viewing by small children.

Gates will open at Noon at the Gilbert Track and Field Complex for Eclipse Over Pickens County. Eclipse totality will begin at 2:37 p.m. Complimentary safety glasses for viewing the eclipse will be given out to visitors on a first come first served basis.

Gilbert Track and Field Complex is located at 215 Clayton Street in Central, on the SWU campus.

The day’s activities will include a lecture and lunch featuring prof. Ivy Kaufman, presented by Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Science. Kaufman will give a presentation about the science behind this rare natural event. Plans are also being made for additional activities at Gilbert Track and Field Complex, in conjunction with Pickens County.

For details and eclipse-related resources, visit A link to information for safely viewing the solar eclipse can be found at

Staff Report