First-ever International SUNday Festival to be held

HARTFORD – See the sun in an entirely new light Sunday, June 21, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Lewis & Clark Confluence as local astronomers celebrate  the Summer Solstice during the first-ever SUNday Festival.

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Members of several local astronomical organizations will offer the opportunity to look at the sun like never before using special solar telescopes which safely allows sun gazers to view the sun through hydrogen Alpha, calcium, and white light. In addition, the first 100 families to visit will receive a pair of free solar glasses. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the sun, our nearest star, while literally looking into its heart.

Fuel your day of star gazing with the help of area food vendors who will be on hand including, Princivalli's, "Good Looking Kettle Corn", and Eppel’s Pantry.

“It’s not every day you can safely view the sun with the guidance of local astronomers,” event organizer Eddie Agha, local amateur astronomer said. “Our equipment allows viewers to see into the heart of our nearby Incredible Nuclear Furnace and how often do people have that opportunity?”

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International SUNday coincides with the summer solstice which is when the sun is at its highest point on the Ecliptic plane. Events will be held throughout the U.S. and the world in celebration of this festival.

“We take the sun for granted on a daily basis,” Steve Sands, a local amateur astronomer and event organizer said. “International SUNday is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our nearest star and for people to see it like they never have before.”

Admission to the event is free although there is a charge to tour the Tower.

Also, in honor of Father’s Day, all fathers will receive a free tour of the Tower.

The Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower is open seven days a week. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 5 p.m. Tours are $4 for adults, $3 for adults over 62, veterans and active military, $2 for children and children under 2 are free. For more information about the Confluence Tower and to get the full event schedule, call 618-251-9101 or visit the events page at


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