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Eclipse Over SWU 2017 in Upstate SC

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. - Psalm 19:1

Best Upstate South Carolina Location for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

When and Where

Monday, August 21, 2017
Gates Open at 12:00 noon
Gilbert Track and Field Complex at Southern Wesleyan University
215 Clayton Street, Central, South Carolina 29630

Partial Eclipse Starts at 1:08 p.m.
Eclipse Totality Begins at 2:37 p.m.

Directions  Campus Map

The first 6,500 to check-in will receive complimentary safety eclipse glasses.

Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets. There will be a live feed on the large video scoreboard at the track for safe viewing by small children.

Center line of the 2017 total solar eclipse path will pass right over Central, South Carolina, giving us one of the best upstate SC solar eclipse experiences.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun, but only those within a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will see one of nature's most awe inspiring sights — a total solar eclipse. It just so happens that the main campus of Southern Wesleyan University in upstate South Carolina (Central, South Carolina) is right along the center of the path of totality, giving us one of the longest viewing times in the nation for the total solar eclipse—a full 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

So let's have a big party! Alumni, friends, parents, students, families and others—join us on the Gilbert Track and Field Complex and let's experience this grand natural event together with the longest total eclipse in Upstate South Carolina—better than any spot in Greenville, SC. Make your plans to see the solar eclipse 2017 over SWU!

Gates open at noon. Make your plans to stay with us until 3:00 p.m. for the total eclipse experience and activities at the Gilbert Track and Field Complex.

  • Live music; scientific experts; lunch, lemonade and snack vendors; activities for kids of all ages.
  • Guests may bring lawn chairs and/or blankets.
  • Tents may be set up outside of the track fencing.
  • Personal coolers are not permitted. Thousands of free, cold water bottles will be available as well as food and drinks for purchase.
  • Comfortable attire for the August heat and grassy terrain is suggested.

Southern Wesleyan University is an alcohol and tobacco free campus.

Hear from a NASA Veteran

Following the eclipse, Mike O’Neal, a 31-year NASA veteran, will present “Spirituality and Spaceflight,” a multimedia presentation on the role of spirituality in human space flight, including audio and video of astronauts from the Apollo program and the International Space Station.

O’Neal, now retired from NASA, spent more than three decades working at Kennedy Space Center, and was awarded NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal as well as two Exceptional Service medals. Prior to his retirement from NASA, O’Neal completed a special assignment in which he investigated mechanisms to provide spiritual support for astronauts.

Tickets & Details

This presentation will begin at 3:15 p.m. in the auditorium of Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center, 737 Wesleyan Drive, just a block away from Gilbert Track and Field.

Seating is limited to 1,000. Tickets for O’Neal’s presentation are just $5 and all proceeds will go to Southern Wesleyan’s Childs Hall Project. Tickets for O’Neal’s presentation will be available on the day of the event in the vendor area at Gilbert Track and Field. Contact Joy Bryant at (864) 644-5385 for group ticket reservations.

Parking & Shuttles

Pre-Paid Parking

Pre-paid parking permits are sold out.


Park & Ride Shuttles

Complimentary parking lots will be available with Park & Ride Shuttles near the SWU campus. Shuttle will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

  • Park & Ride from ALIVE Wesleyan Church located on Chastain Road.
  • More Park & Ride locations may come available soon.

CAT Bus Stop

SWU Gilbert Track & Field is located next to one of the Clemson Area Transit (CAT Bus) stops for Hwy 93. Guests are welcome to park near other stops and ride the CATbus to campus. More about the CAT Bus Line Stops.

Eclipse Lunch & Learn

Before the "big show," join the SWU Science Division for a fun and informative lunch and learn experience with Professor Ivy Kaufman. Hear more about the science behind this impressive natural event while enjoying a catered lunch. A great event for all ages.

10 a.m. - 12 noon
Bryant Lodge at SWU Campus

Lunch & Learn is Sold Out

Additional Eclipse Resources


Bring School Supplies to Donate

United Way of Pickens County will have a booth at the Eclipse Over Pickens County event and will be collecting donated school supplies for local children in need.

Read this PDF for more information


Always follow safe solar-viewing procedures. The website owner assumes no responsibility for any person causing harm to themselves or others by following unsafe solar viewing procedures. By using this website, you agree to hold harmless the website owner for any harm caused by following unsafe solar viewing procedures. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided within this website. Southern Wesleyan University assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. For more information on how to safely view a solar eclipse, please refer to the viewing safety guides provided by the American Astronomical Society and NASA.