‘Where were you during the eclipse of 2024?’ That’s a question I’ll expect to hear or ask years from now.

Appropriate colander to project eclipse. Marley Cerminara

The first thing I want to say is THANK YOU! Thank you to the many volunteers and employees and businesses for everything you have done to make this an amazing success that will help thousands remember their time in Rangeley fondly. A special THANK YOU also to MOTHER NATURE! We had spectacularly beautiful spring weather that could not be beat. The snow from the Nor’easter from just weeks ago just added to the beautiful views.

Leading up to the event in Rangeley, pretty much every organization in town planned something fun or educational, or both. This included the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust who hosted a well-attended paint night by local artist Sonja Johnson, The Rangeley Public Library who hosted an event that helped with the practical matters of viewing safely, and The Rangeley Inn who hosted a Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust trivia night.

RFA astrophotography exhibit featuring works by Ben Pearson and Nick Leadley.

The Rangeley Friends of the Arts had a great exhibit featuring stunning works of astrophotography by Nick Leadley and Ben Pearson and just next door at Rangeley Adventure Company was a unique and lovely melodic event entitled “Sound Bathing under the Stars.”

Rangeley Eclipse Paint Night with Sonja Johnson Wendy Buckley

On the morning of April 8th, The Church of the Good Shepherd hosted a ‘Moonshadow Morning Community Pancake Breakfast” that even drew in my boss’s boss’s boss, the CEO of Maine Trust for Local News Lisa DeSisto! She was happy to be the first in line, thoroughly enjoyed her pancakes, (incidentally mentioned she loved the real plates) and added “The homemade blueberry syrup should be made available for sale!”

Community pancake breakfast didn’t disappoint! Lisa DeSisto

Prior to the event, the streets and stores weren’t as crowded as some had anticipated. Folks were wondering if it was a lot of hype for nothing and then BOOM!  April 8th came, and wow did they come. It was such an incredible event for tens of thousands in the country and for us in the path of totality in Rangeley, well, we saw very many of those thousands.


Apart from the traffic on the way home, I felt, heard, and saw photos of real joy at this rare opportunity. For some, maybe even a once in a lifetime event.

For others, this is a repeat thrill.

Mark, Marybeth and Tim Smith hanging out at the “cool table”. Stephanie Dellavalle

Marybeth Smith said that after she and her husband witnessed the eclipse in Atlanta, GA back in 2017 and heard the next one would be closer to their home in Gorham, NH, they wanted to take advantage of another opportunity.

Marybeth, “It blows your mind. You just can’t believe it’s dark and it will literally get colder, it’s like night.”

She spent the afternoon at Rangeley Health and Wellness’s “Toast to Totality” event. The ticketed event came with heavy appetizers, a champagne toast, photo booth via photographer Tami McGarvey, Peggy Betts and her 8″ telescope that shared and answered numerous questions about (thank you!), live large screen footage from NASA and appropriate themed music from Eric Pomerleau of Audible Events who had been planning his playlist for weeks.

Eric Pomerleau playing a selection of sun related appropriate songs at the RHW Toast to Totality event. Stephanie Dellavalle

Songs included some of my favorites such as ‘Eclipse” by Pink Floyd, ‘Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden, “Steal my Sunshine” by Len, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, “Sunshine In a Bag” by Gorillaz and big hits like “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart, and of course “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.


Some of the folks I was with were afraid the music would spoil the event climax, but I had a hundred percent faith in Eric. Sure enough after making the announcement of impending darkness, the music ceased, and the filled-to-capacity crowd admired in solemn silence.

Some folks who were fortunate enough to have a home with perfect view of the afternoon sun, spent it comfortably at home.

Michelle Cerminara, Caroline Willis and Jane Jungbluth test out the different ways to appreciate the eclipse. Marley Cerminara

Twelve-year-old Michelle Cerminara spent it in her front yard with her friends Caroline Willis and Jane Jungbluth. They took advantage of the resources of cardboard and colander to witness the stages of the eclipse in the driveway.

Others, like Mischelle Seavey and family, packed their vehicles, drove to town, and happily parked where they could. In this case, between the Farmer’s Daughter and the Rangeley Fire Station II in Oquossoc.

Miracle of miracles, my mom visited!

Of course, a ton of people like Kelly, Ann, Chip and Lily Rogers put on their skis and joined the party at Saddleback, took the Kennebago lift to the top and enjoyed a spectacular view and perfect visibility.

Joe and Erin McGrail and their son Teddy did the same, but then continued on and trekked the 30-minute walk to the top of Saddleback Mountain for a truly breathtaking view.

Whether you joined the party at Bald Mountain Camps or the group cheers all around the lake, or at the Town Park it really felt like one big town party and, with the exception of the traffic on the way home, a lack of truly sufficient (ahem) public facilities, it was all joy and no complaints.

That’s from my perspective of course. I was wearing particularly rose-colored glasses early in the day because my mom, yes, my almost 85-year-old mom took the eight-hour drive from Queens, NY. How lucky am I and how lucky are we Rangeley folk who didn’t have to travel?

The stars were certainly aligned for a memorable day which I will cherish forever. I hope you feel the same.

In 20 years my my mom, Carol Chu, has only visited a handful of times. Thank you Solar Eclipse!

Photo taken from the RHW Toast to Totality event. Chris Frasier of Sandy River Plantation/Amesbury, MA

Teddy McGrail earns a fabulous view after hiking to Saddleback summit. Joe McGrail

Photographer Tami McGarvey (with backdrop for photos at RHW) is always UP for a good time 😉 Stephanie Dellavalle

Styling hats at Grasshopper Hill Farm Alli Cammack

Xander Munc and Sophie Chu-O’Neil sunstruck. Stephanie Dellavalle

Cheering crowd along Route 17.

Kudos from Lisa DeSisto Maine Trust for Local News’ CEO for the Spring into Summer SKY Guide to little ol’ me

Lisa DeSisto

Don and Norma Dremsa and their grandaughter Sakyra Dremsa from Arundel, ME got a good view from near the Rangeley Fire Department in Oquossoc. Meschelle Seavey

Thanks to the spirited group who accommodated this pushy photographer. Stephanie Dellavalle

Sonja Pomerleau and daughter Willa having some pre-eclipse fun at RHW. Stephanie Dellavalle

Stephanie Dellavalle

Family memories to last a lifetime. Stephanie Dellavalle

Liz Sharpe getting a safe view of the sun. Stephanie Dellavalle

Peggy Betts sharing the use of her telescope to Liz Sharpe at the RHW Toast to Totality event. Stephanie Dellavalle

Josephina and Louisa Watson donning some cool cat eclipse wear. Stephanie Dellavalle

Teddy McGrail atop Saddleback Mountain. Joe McGrail

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