More than a hundred people of all ages came out to Lake Norman State Park on Monday for the solar eclipse viewing party.


Hundreds of Iredell County residents and visitors from surrounding counties walked, biked and drove to Lake Norman State Park to share in the eclipse viewing Monday afternoon.

Children of all ages and their families hung out at the beach area of the park. Chairs were provided to guests, and there were free activities and photo opportunities ahead of the eclipse viewing.

Deserie Barragan and her sons Alek, Eli and Declan arrived ahead of the 3 p.m. viewing time.

“We are super excited. This is part of our homeschool lesson,” Barragan explained. “We are meeting other friends here from our homeschool cooperative.”

The Youchak family drove from Huntersville to view the solar eclipse and camped out near the trees. The enjoy nature, outdoor activities and family time.

“I just think it’s cool because it’s rare that it happens. Not really rare, but rare to happen here,” said eighth-grade student Sebastian Youchak.

Hikers Millie McDaniel and Dwight Hall, who are both in their 50s, brought their dog Bruce Wayne along for the big event because “it might be their last chance to see one.”

Before viewing the eclipse, they took advantage of the pleasant weather and hiked the Lakeshore Loop Trail at the park.

Siblings Madelyn, 9, and Lucas, 7, were playing in the water and described what they saw in the sky.

“I saw the clouds going by and the sun looks like the moon at night,” Lucas said.

“I saw this round figure and instead of it being yellow it was really orange,” Madelyn added. “I saw blackness covering it.”

She explained that an eclipse occurs “when the Earth, moon and sun all line up perfectly and the moon’s shadow blocks out the sun’s light.”

Park rangers emphasized the importance of safety. They handed out free solar eclipse glasses and also cautioned that too much exposure without a proper cover for your camera can damage it.

The park staff was pleased with the turnout and the chance to make new friends.

“It’s a great day to be out in the park to experience nature and the eclipse,” Ranger Frances Cassarino said. “We have educational crafts and displays out for kids to learn about eclipses and the sky, as well as just spending time in the outdoors.”


Lake Norman State Park offers free monthly programs throughout the year and you can view upcoming events on their calendar. Entry into the park is free. Visit