SUNY Brockport prepares to host thousands of people for solar eclipse

SUNY Brockport prepares to host thousands of people for solar eclipse

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BROCKPORT, N.Y. — Monroe County is estimating that nearly half a million people could travel to our neck of the woods to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. That may leave you wondering, will there be enough room for everybody?

We spoke to one local town that’s preparing to be a hot-spot and learned what they’ve done to ensure there’s room for all. There’s one place in the Town of Sweden that offers something many other places can’t and that’s SUNY Brockport.

SUNY Brockport’s assistant vice president of communication, John Follaco, is one person at the university who’s been preparing to host thousands of people on the day of the eclipse.

“You know all of Monroe County is in the path of totality as you know, but the center line literally cuts through a corner of our campus which makes us one of the best spots in the world to watch the eclipse. We get an extra five seconds of totality,” Follaco said.

This is a big event, so the preparation hasn’t been on a whim. Town of Sweden Supervisor Patricia Hayles has been planning for more than two years for the big day.

“What we’re trying to do is keep everyone safe and keep the flow of traffic moving especially in emergency situation for fire or ambulances that I have to get through,” Hayles said.

She’s been meeting with experts when planning and says there’s been one main topic of discussion, “The most information about that day was what the sheriff’s department is expecting traffic wise.”

When people travel, so do their vehicles. To ensure safety, the town has decided to not allow parking at the Community Center or on certain streets. Full eclipse information for the town of Sweden can be found here.

This decision to restrict parking has stirred conversation about whether there will be places for everyone to park but the town and college say not to worry.

“There’s a large park on Redman Road which is also a feeder to the college event and we will open that up at 6 am.,” Hayles said.

The parking lot will be first come, first serve. If there isn’t enough room, SUNY Brockport says it has you covered and will be selling parking passes.

“We can accommodate much more than I think we’re going to have. I think we could accommodate over 1000 people at this point. We’ve sold close to 200 event passes and that’s per vehicle so it’s hard to say,” Follaco said.

The college isn’t just offering parking and will also host an event with live music, food trucks and more. More information on the event and how to purchase a pass can be found here.

News10NBC is Rochester’s Eclipse Headquarters. You can see our complete eclipse coverage here and a list of more eclipse viewing parties here. The skies will start to darken in Rochester at 2:07 p.m. Totality will begin at 3:20 p.m. and will last for 3 minutes and 38 seconds in the city.