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The RMSC Announces ROC the Eclipse Festival in April 2024

    On Monday, April 8, 2024, at 3:20pm, Rochester will sit directly in the path of a total solar eclipse and experience 3 minutes and 38 seconds of complete totality.

    “Almost nothing can prepare you for witnessing totality. It is more than just watching the Sun change, it is a complete experience,” said Jim Bader, Director of the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. “The minutes leading up to totality see temperatures drop quickly, which you feel. All of nature begins to respond as if twilight is arriving, which you will hear from the birds, frogs, bugs, and other wildlife. Finally, when totality arrives you get to experience a view of the Sun and the stars in a way that cannot be replicated by any video or image. The world around you feels foreign and surreal. This is an experience of a lifetime and it is coming directly to our doorstep.”

    The RMSC will be celebrating the eclipse with a 3-day festival, ROC The Eclipse, filled with hands-on activities, speakers, live entertainment, eclipse merch, food trucks, and more. 

    Eclipse Weekend Confirmed Activities Include:

    Notable Keynote Speakers will include: American astronomer, skeptic, and popular science blogger, Phil Plait, otherwise known as The Bad Astronomerand popular TikTok influencer and educator (also known as the Groovy Geologist), Cate Larsen, will be in attendance at the ROC The Eclipse festival. Dates and times for these and additional speakers are to be announced after the new year. 

    The RMSC will be hosting its After Dark series: Galactic Getdown on Saturday night, April 6 from 6:30–10:30pm. This 21+ event will give visitors a chance to celebrate the Total Solar Eclipse with friends and will feature a Silent Disco at the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. NYC Astronomy on Tap will be hosting space bar trivia and featuring two local astronomy researchers. Eclipse-themed drinks will be available.

    The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium will also present a captivating new show, Eclipse 2024! designed to enlighten audiences about the awe-inspiring phenomena surrounding a total solar eclipse. Shows throughout the festival weekend will be on a first-come, first-served basis and are included with festival admission. 

    The RMSC Museum & Science Center will host a packed 3 days of activities on campus ranging from popular Electricity Theater shows, Science on a Sphere 3D projection shows, hands-on activities, science experiments, solar telescope viewing outside, and more. The live animal exhibit, Survival of the Slowest will also be on view at the museum, featuring Sash the sloth and other slow-moving creatures. 

    Historically, the last time the Rochester region experienced a total solar eclipse was in 1925. After April 8, 2024, the next time our region will experience totality will be in 2144. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Western New York.

    “ROC the Eclipse is part of a culmination of celebrations that we’ve been working towards for years,” said Daniel Schneiderman, Eclipse Partnership Coordinator at the RMSC. “From community partnerships that we’ve been building up to immersive hands-on experiences that you won’t find anywhere else, ROC the Eclipse will have something for everyone under the sun”.

    Tickets, eclipse glasses, and merchandise for the ROC The Eclipse Festival are now on sale. Visitors will have the choice to purchase 1-day passes or 3-day passes at a discounted rate. Tickets include admission to the RMSC Museum & Science Center + the Strasenburgh Planetarium. Visitors can use their admission to the Festival towards the purchase of a full-year membership to the RMSC. RMSC Members will have free access to everything happening during the festival weekend, including the Planetarium shows. 

    For more information about the 2024 eclipse, and other activities happening on the RMSC Campus or at the RMSC Cumming Nature Center, and to learn how to get involved, go to or, or follow the official Rochester Solar Eclipse pages on all social media platforms (@rocsolareclipse). You can sign up for ROC 2024 Total Solar Eclipse e-mails here

    The ROC the Eclipse Festival could not have been made possible without the support of GreenSpark Solar, Karpus Investment Management, LaBella Associates, L3Harris, Market NY, a program of Empire State Development, Optimax, SUNY Brockport, and TY Electric Corp.

    RMSC Eclipse Press Kit