Pittsburghers will get partial view of upcoming eclipse; for a better view, plan a trip to Erie

Excitement is building for this year’s solar eclipse.

Pittsburgh will get a partial view of the celestial event, but if you want the best view, you’re going to have to go for a drive.

The City of Erie is banking on a lot of visitors, and already, hotel prices are out of this world.

“I understand Pittsburgh is going to be 97% totality, which is great, but 100% is mind-blowing,” says Christine Temple from Visit Erie, “this is our time to shine, we want to put our best foot forward, and to show people that come up, look at all there is to see and do.”

More than 200,000 people are expected to travel to Erie County to watch the dramatic solar event on April 8.

Hotels are already at 85% occupancy.

We looked at the price of a stay the night before the eclipse, and the normal price from one week earlier.

The Comfort Inn is priced at $449 compared to $95 the week before.

A room at Candlewood Suites starts at $799, up from $69.

The Clarion Hotel is available for $898 compared to $70 normally.

And the Sheraton will cost you $1,024 compared to $171 one week earlier.

“I would say if you’re planning to come up and stay the night, don’t wait any longer,” says Temple.

Most schools throughout Erie are canceling classes, doing remote learning, or dismissing early to accommodate the large crowds and traffic that are expected.

Several viewing parties are being set up around the county, but one location you may want to avoid is the picturesque Presque Isle State Park.

“Presque Isle, we know is going to get a lot of visitors regardless, but there is only one road in and one road out”, says Temple, “so if you’re dead set on going to Presque Isle, make plans that you’re going to be sitting quite a while in traffic.”

Wherever you plan to be, another thing to keep in mind is eye protection.

The time to buy is now.

The American Astronomical Society says the supply of film is running low and there are a lot of cheap knock-offs being sold online.

For a list of safe solar filters and viewers, click here.

For Erie eclipse information and events, click here.

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