Society / The Seen

The Scene from the Total Solar Eclipse at Klyde Warren Park

Relive the Epic Solar Event That Drew Thousands to Dallas' Beloved Deck Park

BY // 05.23.24
photography Don Clausen with Kelly Alexander Photography

The party invites were coming in fast and furious for the months leading up to the Great Northern Eclipse on Monday, April 8. Dallas was lucky to be the largest American city in the “path of totality.” I wanted to be in the center of the action, so our happening of choice was of course  Klyde Warren Park’s solar eclipse event.

President and CEO of our beloved park, Kit Sawers, partnered with the Perot Museum to assemble a crack team of astronomers and solar authorities from Carnegie Science who informed partygoers throughout the morning and early afternoon about what they would be witnessing.

I made my way around the VIP area set aside for Klyde Warren Park Friends members, with one of Mi Cocina’s Mambo Taxi’s in hand, and chatted up all the friends I bumped into that day, which included Lee Cullum, Gillian Breidenbach, Jody and Sheila Grant, and Kristin Bray.

Kim Noltemy, Sheila Grant, Lee Cullum (Photo by Don Clausen with Kelly Alexander Photography)
Kim Noltemy, Sheila Grant, Lee Cullum (Photo by Don Clausen with Kelly Alexander Photography)

At 1:25 pm the astronomers: Dr. Dave Osip the Associate Director of Carnegie Science’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile; Dr. Peter Senchyna a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Science Observatories; Dr. Sachi Weerasooriya a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Observatories; and the Editorial Director for Carnegie Science, Natasha Mezler, came on to provide some fun and nerdy details we love about what we would be witnessing.

The moment lived up to the hype. For four minutes, thousands gathered to witness the sky go black as the eclipse playlist (which of course included Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”) put together by the Park stopped and we all had a communal moment. While most looked skyward, I was most interested in seeing many of the adjacent buildings’ evening lights come on and downtown residents come out of their lit apartments onto their balconies to join in the mass gathering.

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