In an event of a lifetime, about 260 people flocked to the watering hole, Wekiva Island, for the bar’s solar eclipse viewing event on Monday, August 21.
The date marks the first time in nearly 100 years that a total eclipse spanned across the United States from coast to coast. The path of totality went from Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C.
Observers outside that path, which included Apopka and all of Florida, were able to see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk, according to NASA.
The Wekiva Island staff did not expect the bar to fill to capacity, since it had less than 100 pairs of special viewing glasses available for sale. A line of 100 individuals had formed outside the bar in the rain at around 1 p.m.
Dealing with a “very orderly” line of patrons, the glasses sold out in about five minutes, said Mary Weinaug, Wekiva Island spokeswoman. Her husband, Bill Weinaug, is the owner.
“We didn’t expect how good it would be. If we had 500 pairs, we could have sold 500 pairs,” Mary Weinaug said.
The last total solar eclipse crossing the United States from coast to coast was on June 8, 1918, going from Washington State to Florida.
Wekiva Island hosted a viewing event not only because an eclipse is a rare occurrence, but also because it applies to what Weinaug called the bar’s eco-conscious philosophy.
“We’re all about (being) green and eco-friendliness and saving the planet, but it’s a big event. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Weinaug said.
Despite the rain, local reaction to the event was positive, Weinaug said.
An extended version of this story appears in the Friday, August 25, issue of The Apopka Chief.