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Eclipse fever hits Greater Lehigh Valley, hard-to-find eclipse glasses hot item

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The line for eclipse glasses at the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown ran past the building and through the parking lot. They were sold out by a little after 10 a.m. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Cusati)
The line for eclipse glasses at the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown ran past the building and through the parking lot. They were sold out by a little after 10 a.m. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Cusati)

As Monday's total solar eclipse nears, special glasses to view the celestial phenomenon have become the most sought item in stores, science centers and libraries across the Greater Lehigh Valley.

A line that was 500 deep began forming this morning at the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, and stretched beyond the building and through the parking lot.

The center’s phone lines were jammed with people inquiring about availability. Parking was so difficult, Da Vinci center employees had to park off-site and Cedar Crest College police stepped in to coordinate with officials at the center.

The science center sold out of its morning shipment of 250 certified eclipse-watching glasses, which sell for $7.99, but expected to get another shipment of 250 this afternoon, said Brian Strohecker, director of business development at Da Vinci.

Cheryl Cusati of Coopersburg took off time from work to buy the glasses at the Da Vinci center. She was in line by 9:45 a.m. but they were sold out by 10:15 a.m. Cusati and others who were still in line were assured they would get glasses from the next shipment, she said.

“The folks came out with chairs for all us. They were so kind,” Cusati said.

Strohecker said the center has been busy all week with people buying glasses.

“I think people are excited about the eclipse and they want to experience it with their families. The next one won’t be until 2024.”

The center will have eclipse activities all weekend. On Monday, it will host an eclipse viewing party where there will be glasses and pin-hole viewers available for sharing.

The center is trying to educate and entertain people while they wait, including having science educators from the center talking to people about the eclipse.

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