Activities and Special Events: 2024 Solar Eclipse Special

Published on Jan 23, 2024

It’s the event of the year! The next total solar eclipse will be visible from the beautiful Eastern Townships on April 8. Throughout the Townships, special events and activities are being organized to mark this very unique day.

Observation from different summits, astronomers’ interpretations explaining the phenomenon, the AstroLab’s scientific program broadcasts... Read on to find all the special events relating to the solar eclipse and make this already exceptional day even more memorable!

©Charles Dion

Outdoor Outings and Eclipse Observation

View the star filled sky up close, and get a front-row seat for the solar eclipse. Some of the Eastern Townships mountains offer hikes to their summits!

  • Mont Hereford The first departures will be authorized starting at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the eclipse, and access to the parking lot will be restricted to vehicles with reservations. On site, the Mount Hereford team will be handing out certified eclipse glasses so you can view the sky in complete safety. Plan on a 2-hour hike to reach the summit. For more information and to register, visit the Mount Hereford website.

  • Parc des Sommets With its three summits, Mont-Bernard, Mont-Horizon and Mont-des-Épinettes, all you have to do is choose! Accompanied by a guide, take to the hills of the Parc des Sommets de Bromont, settle into your folding chair and peacefully enjoy the solar eclipse through the glasses provided on site. For more information and to register, visit the Parc des Sommets website.

©Charles Dion

At the heart of the event with the ASTROLab | Parc national du Mont-Mégantic

La ligne centrale de l’éclipse solaire qui passe juste au-dessus de la capitale québécoise d’astronomie... on n’aurait pas pu rêver mieux! Au pied du mont MéThe central line of the solar eclipse passes right above Québec’s astronomy capital—we couldn’t have wished for more! At the foot of Mont Mégantic, the ASTROlab museum’s scientists and presenters are eagerly preparing for D-Day. On site, an outdoor stage will be set up for a live rebroadcast of the progress of the eclipse on a giant screen, accompanied by a wide range of activities.

The festivities will take place from midday to 4:00 p.m. on April 8, 2024 (in French only). No vehicles will be allowed at the foot of Mont Mégantic. Bus transport will be provided to reach the event site.

For more information and to register, visit the SEPAQ website.

Abri-Bois La Patrie

Follow the Eclipse’s Evolution on a Giant Screen

For those who haven’t had time to obtain access to Mount Mégantic, or who prefer smaller venues, here’s some good news. Many towns and villages in the Eastern Townships are planning to broadcast the ASTROlab festivities on giant screens. Here’s a list of places where you can go free of charge to follow the solar eclipse’s progress:

  • The Abri-bois | La Patrie
  • Robert Fournier Arena | East-Angus
  • Parc Pomerleau | Ascot Corner
  • Plage P. E. Perreault | Dudswell
  • The Town Hall | Westbury
  • André-Pee-Wee Tardif Arena | Weedon

©Daphné Caron

Meet Some Very Enthusiastic and Passionate Astronomers

And, why not take advantage of the solar eclipse to better understand this astronomical phenomenon? Several towns in the Eastern Townships will invite amateur astronomers to talk to you about what happens in the skies during a solar eclipse. Meetings that are bound to be quite fascinating!

Our gatherings with amateur astronomers in the Townships:

  • Parc Duhamel | Bedford | The Astronomy club will be onsite
  • The Place publique and the Campus Germain-Désourdy | Bromont | Presentation by a member of the Fédération des astronomes amateurs du Québec and a distribution of protective eyewear for observing the eclipse.

All the Heavenly Wisdom at Hébergement aux Cinq Sens | Piopolis

Extend your solar eclipse experience for one night (or more!) by booking a stay in a yurt or mini-home at Hébergement aux cinq sens in Piopolis. On Monday afternoon, the day of the eclipse, you can attend an astronomical interpretation and observation activity. Accompanied by Benoit, an amateur astronomer and host of the Soirées aux étoiles, the activity will be accompanied by a tasting of chaga tea.

When night falls, look up again and marvel at the stars. You’re in the heart of the Mont Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve!

Settle In at Au Diable Vert Mountain Resort | Sutton

Just a short distance from the Vermont border, the green mountains of the Sutton region offer an exceptional night sky. With good reason, this area of the Eastern Townships is also recognized as an International Dark Sky Reserve.

If you’re lucky enough to have booked your accommodation at Au Diable Vert for the day of the solar eclipse, you’ll be able to take advantage of a guided, bilingual presentation by astronomers on the Observ’Étoiles site.

Day visitors wishing to observe the phenomenon simply from the mountains will be welcome to join in, subject to the usual conditions. The Observ’Étoiles activity will be open, depending on availability, to customers who don’t have onsite accommodations. Observation glasses will be provided.

Observing the Eclipse from the Spa at Estello Suites & Spa | Frontenac

Now here’s an original way to contemplate the solar eclipse! Slip into one of the hot tubs at the Estello Suites & Spa hotel on the shores of Lake Mégantic and admire the phenomenon. Protective eyewear will be provided at the entrance.

Good news! This activity is not exclusive to hotel guests. Indeed, the spa zone of Estello Suite & Spa can accommodate up to 30 guests a day.

©Daphné Caron

Patienter en terrasse avec une assiette et un verre à la main

Finally, with its midday schedule, this solar eclipse is a good excuse for a Monday get-together on a terrace. And, provided the weather is on your side as well, to spend a far from the ordinary lunchtime break!

The Sherbrooke restaurant OMG and the Bistro Koz in Magog will be open for the occasion, offering special solar eclipse lunch menus.

One, at $15, along with a beverage (wine, beer, classic cocktail, mocktail) onsite, and a pair of protective glasses.

The other, for an extra $2 added to the regular price, offering their noontime meal along with a pair of protective glasses. *

  • “Petite Découverte” formula at Bistro Koz and the “Menu midi” at OMG restaurant.

It’s Happening in the Townships! Other Activity Ideas to Consider on the Day of the Eclipse:

  • Maison Merry in Magog proposes historical presentations relating to eclipses that occurred during the Victorian era and throughout the beginning of the 20th century.

  • The Municipal Park in Austin proposes an observation gathering with different activities and 2 conferences.

  • In Saint-Camille, they’re proposing an outdoors onsite real-time commented observation (or indoor broadcast depending on the weather).

  • The downtown area of Lac-Mégantic will offer to observe the phenomena along with hosted presentations under different tent installations.

  • At the Centre d’interprétation de la nature du Lac Boivin entertainers will be waiting for you outdoors or indoors depending on the weather.

  • Bromont, montagne d’expériences proposes a paying access to their chairlifts to take you to the summit.

  • At Parc Chartier in Coaticook they’re proposing a downtown observation event with different artists, tarot card readings and other activities.

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