Metro-East News

Solar eclipse glasses sold out around the metro-east, St. Louis

Without proper protection, eclipse may cause permanent blindspots, eye doctor says

Dr. Joshua Wilson, of Advance Vision Care in Belleville, discuss solar eclipse eye safety during a Facebook Live broadcast with Belleville News-Democrat reporter Kelsey Landis on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.
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Dr. Joshua Wilson, of Advance Vision Care in Belleville, discuss solar eclipse eye safety during a Facebook Live broadcast with Belleville News-Democrat reporter Kelsey Landis on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.

If you don’t have a pair of solar eclipse glasses by now, it might be too late.

Major retailers and small businesses around the metro-east and St. Louis are sold out. (Don’t keep your fingers crossed for a last minute shipment. We already called around about that. No one expects to get more in time for the eclipse.)

In the metro-east, Lowe’s in Fairview Heights expected to receive a shipment on Monday morning, but that’s not happening anymore. The shipment arrived early and it sold out fast, a store representative told the News-Democrat.

Toys “R” Us in Fairview Heights is sold out along with every other big box store in the region.

In St. Louis, local libraries don’t have them either. St. Louis county’s parks department had them available for $1 each. But not anymore.

At this point, the best option could be making your own viewer or attending an event where glasses will be provided to people who stay for the party.

Where’s the party? There’s a good chance, you’ll find one at your local library or one nearby. Call ahead to find out.

Here’s a rundown of public events where you’ll be able to find glasses if you’re willing to get there early and stay for the party.

▪  Mascoutah Public Library (3 W. Church St., Mascoutah, 618-566-2562) — Glasses will be available for those who attend the viewing party at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

▪  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville — On Aug. 21, glasses will be available at viewing locations including Ralph Korte Stadium (public viewing from 11:50 a.m. to 2:44 p.m.), Meridian Ballroom (SIUE students, faculty and staff only) and Builders of University Plaza (SIUE students, faculty and staff only).

▪  Fairview Heights Public Library (10017 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights; 618-489-2070) — The library will have ways for the public to view the eclipse safely, including a telescope, from noon to 2 p.m. on Aug. 21.

▪  Fairmont City Public Library (4444 Collinsville Road, Fairmont City, 62201; 618-482-3966) — One pair of glasses per person free at eclipse program at noon Aug. 21.

▪  Hayner Public Library in Alton (326 Belle Street, Alton; 618-462-0677) — One pair per person free at eclipse program at 11 a.m. Aug. 21.

▪  Waterloo will host an eclipse viewing party called “Solarbration” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. Free eclipse glasses available along with live music, food and an artisan fair.

▪  Red Bud is hosting “Party in the Dark at Lincoln Park” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 21. Free eclipses glasses will be available along with music and food.

If you know of other locations offering eclipse glasses, call the Belleville News-Democrat newsroom at 618-239-2110.

Cara Anthony: 618-239-2471, @CaraRAnthony

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