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Sunday, May 19
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LIVE UPDATES: Scenes, news around Bloomington during the solar eclipse

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The Indiana Daily Student will bring you live updates, scenes and news from Bloomington throughout the day of the eclipse. For live photo updates, check out PHOTOS: Live updates from day of solar eclipse on Bloomington.  

4:35 p.m. in front of Bill Garrett Fieldhouse

At a first aid and information tent, located on East Seventh Street between Dunn Meadow and Bill Garrett Fieldhouse, workers have started to put tables away.  

“I was expecting more chaos,” Emily Miles, an IU staff member, said. 

Miles said the group will be at the location until 6 p.m., but low demand led them to begin packing up early. The nearby “Fun Not Under the Sun” event at Dunn Meadow, which runs until 7 p.m., had largely thinned out since the end of totality. 

Alicia Marte, a registered nurse who works at the Student Health Center, said the only aid they gave out came in the form of sunscreen, water and Band-Aids. 

“It’s more at the football and basketball games, actually, than it was today,” Marte said about distributing first aid. 

Emily Miles formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student while in college.

4:30 p.m. along the perimeter of campus 

After a brief bike ride and perusing data from Google Maps, the traffic doesn't appear to be nearly as bad as expected. The streets were more crowded than usual, but nothing worse than a typical game day. 

4:05 p.m. at Sample Gates 

After three pro-Palestinian protestors were temporarily detained and another was taken away by the IU Police Department in a golf cart, the rest of the protestors marched around Dunn Meadow before gathering at Samples Gates.  

Multiple local organizations organized a rally at Cox Arboretum on the day of the eclipse to “end complicity in genocide” and call for academic liberation. The event was moved after police officers told protestors they were engaging in disorderly conduct because demonstrations were not allowed in the arboretum.  

The detainments did not deter the protesters but instead reinvigorated them.  

IU alumni Elizabeth Valencia said people should be inspired by the protester who had been taken away by police, and they should tell his story.  

“If we go silent now, shame on us,” she said.  

She said IU was suppressing Palestinian voices, tokenizing people and using their identity only when it benefits its narrative.  

A Palestinian speaker said he has lost 50 family members in Gaza — some he knows and others he will never have the chance to meet.   

“I don’t know them — I am diaspora. I’ll never get to know them, because they’re dead,” the speaker said. “I won’t be able to see their faces or say goodbye.” 

They spoke about their survivor’s guilt, as they and a few family members had the privilege to leave Gaza, unlike most of his family.  

“I am here screaming and screaming for people I will never get to know because they were killed by this nation,” they said.  

A Palestinian high school student urged protestors to motivate and mobilize others to support Palestine.  

“Don’t let this burden be on the diaspora,” they said. “Don’t let this burden be on the people who suffering, who feel guilty just for being alive while their family isn’t.” 

In an email to the IDS regarding the detainment, Hannah Skibba, public information officer for IUPD, wrote that protestors were disruptive and were asked to stop being disruptive three separate times. She wrote that protestors were asked to move their demonstration to a new location that was not already reserved for another event and confirmed that three individuals — including two IU students and one “non-affiliated” individual — were detained and released at the arboretum. She confirmed another individual was arrested for disorderly conduct at Dunn Meadow after being asked to stop using a megaphone.   

“As a public institution of higher education, IU encourages the free and civil exchange of ideas from students, faculty, staff, and the public,” IU Executive Director of Media Relations Mark Bode wrote in a statement to the IDS. “As outlined in the university’s free speech policy, IU also expects civility and respect between and among members of the IU community and that expressive activity does not impede the operations of the university.” 

3:15 p.m. at La Casa Viewing Party 

Students begin to pack up their belongings as the exhilaration of the eclipse fades away. 

“That was surreal,” one student said. “The place just went dark and the ring around the Sun was so bright.” 

Students were given viewing glasses and glow sticks by the event organizer, Michael Garza.

3:15 p.m. 

Did you see that? The eclipse just occurred after 3:04 p.m. Super cool. 

3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium 

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner took the stage at 2:38 p.m. Shatner, 93, shared what he called a “campfire story.” The campfire story was the story of the earth, the moon and the  human lives between them.  

Behind Shatner was an orchestral ensemble of Jacobs School of Music students and IU’s premiere student choir, NOTUS.  

Shatner’s poem began the way Earth began: 4.5 billion years ago. His poem encompassed the entirety of its history. He took listeners from the Permian era of strange reptilian creatures, to the dawn of humanity, to the crowd watching him in a semicircle in the bleachers. 

Shatner is well-acquainted with space. As Captain Kirk in the science fiction series “Star Trek” of TV and film, he traversed galaxies on the Starship Enterprise. Outside of TV, Shatner became the oldest man to go to space at 90 years old when he boarded Jeff Bezos’ “Blue Origin” space shuttle in 2021. 

As Shatner continued to talk, underscored by an epic symphony, the light in the stadium slowly dimmed. The once blazing sun began to lose its potency. A light breeze swept through the stadium, raising hairs on necks and goosebumps on skin. 

Shatner began the final section of his monologue. 

“The moon is going to insert itself between us and the sun,” Shatner said. “Sparrows in the skies will glide, bewildered by the unexpected darkness and hunker down for the night. Ghostly owls and curious bobcats will come out to hunt, equally miffed by the sudden night.” 

Shatner’s speech died down first, followed by the orchestra decrescendoing to a whisper.  

The stadium too fell silent. By 3 p.m., the cacophony of voices dimmed into a murmur. 

Shatner’s final words of his speech, though premature by about nine minutes, rang in everyone’s mind.  

“And now, the eclipse.” 

3 p.m. at Dunn Meadow 

The crowd gazing at the sky began applauding and whooping as the moon neared a total eclipse. In anticipation of totality, the crowd continued to rupture into applause. They anticipated it too early. Many times. 

2:30 p.m. 

The Indiana Daily Student will take a break from coverage starting now so we can view the eclipse. Be sure to keep following this page for updates and follow-ups from this celestial event. 

2:30 p.m. 

At the moment the moon envelops the sun and the sky goes dark, several planets may be visible. To the upper left of the eclipse, Jupiter may be seeable. In a line starting from the lower right of the eclipse, Venus, Saturn and Mars may be observable.  

Venus and Jupiter are expected to be brighter, and more likely visible. Mars and Saturn, if visible, will appear very close together in the sky. Mercury and Uranus will sit around Jupiter, but they won’t be observable without a telescope. 

2:25 at La Casa Viewing Party 

Students are beginning to fill the front lawn of La Casa Latino Cultural Center with blankets, towels and articles of clothing to sit on in anticipation of the eclipse. Students on the culture center's perimeter are engaging in various activities like tug-of-war and socializing on hammocks. 

“We had a trivia wheel that had all kinds of space trivia and we we’re giving prizes away,” said Michael Garza, the event organizer. “We also have a telescope here and the projector casts the clips as it’s happening.” 

1:49 p.m. at Dunn Meadow 

The moon has begun eclipsing the sun. The crowd at Dunn Meadow listened to musical performances and began to look up.  

1:05 p.m. at Memorial Stadium

Clad in flashy red, white and blue costumes, the Indiana University Musical Theatre department and College of Arts and Sciences Theater and Dance department put their skills on display throughout their half-hour set. Like many performances throughout eclipse weekend, the departments presented a celestial-themed setlist.  

They performed several Broadway and pop ballads including Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon, Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine, and Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky.” “Let the Sunshine In” by the 5th Dimension, and featured in the musical “Hairspray, capped off their performance.  

The chance to perform in a stadium setting at the same event as Janelle Monáe was an awe-inspiring moment for some student performers. 

“I think that performing on the same stage, knowing that she was just there kind of brings me even more just spiritual, like excitement and just ready to go,” Madeline Corday, a comtemporary dance major, said. The adrenaline of performing for this many people is just insane.”   

The groups spent a month and a half preparing for this event.  

“We’ve been working on it for a while so we’re super excited to perform,” Sir Jonathan Thompson, a freshman musical theatre major, said.  

12:39 p.m. at Dunn Meadow 

Dunn Meadow has begun to fill with people, and even some pets, sitting on blankets and chairs in the grass. One such visitor, Matthew Carr, flew a plane from Fort Wayne to witness the eclipse.  

He had to make a reservation to fly into Monroe County Airport, as the airport expected to be busy. 

“So, brought my friends and we took the flight down and landed this morning and came over to Dunn Park to watch the eclipse,” Carr said. 

Carr said he came to Bloomington to watch the eclipse for a couple of reasons, including his two daughters who go to school at IU. He said they were going to meet Carr and his group on Dunn Meadow so they could watch the eclipse as a family.  

“We kind of just started the party this morning,” Carr said. “We had lunch and just having some drinks enjoying the sunshine. We're glad that the weather forecast was different than what was being placed.” 

Noon at the IU tailgate fields 

Ronnie Cortopassi takes his perch at the entrance of Lot 114 in front of the IU Tennis Center, sporting a yellow vest while a travel bag sits at his feet. 

Cortopassi was told to expect between 25,000 to 30,000 people. He arrived at Memorial Stadium at 5:30 a.m. and moved to his spot at 7 a.m., but for an hour and a half, he watched cars come and go — down North Fee Lane, not into his parking lot. 

By late morning, there were only a handful of cars in the lot, which is directly behind Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and across from Memorial Stadium. 

To pass the time, Cortopassi played games on his phone — “Royal Match” and slot machines — and talked with his gate partner about cruises. Cortopassi and his wife, Nancy, are two weeks removed from a cruise to Jamaica.  

He opens his phone, which is already on the charger, and shows a countdown clock for a date 167 days away, marking he and Nancy’s next cruise. It’ll be their 15th together. 

The free meals. The specialty restaurants. The chance to unwind. In this moment, his mind is on the ocean — and not the near-vacant lot that sits behind him. 

“It was supposed to be extremely busy,” Cortopassi said. “That’s what I thought.” 

Alex Feldman and his family thought the same. They arrived at 9:30 a.m., setting up shop in the southeast corner of Lot 114. 

As the speakers blared from tests at Memorial Stadium, the lot sat quietly — except for Feldman and the family friends alongside. Given more space than initially expected, they set up a four-square board, rotating in and out. 

Feldman, a 2007 graduate from IU who now lives in the Indianapolis area, watches soccer and lacrosse balls being thrown around the parking lot. There are two other cars within one hundred yards of them. 

His daughter, Victoria, eats Ruffles potato chips. His son, Jack, sits in a lawn chair and reads Katie the Catsitter — he proudly exclaims he’s read all three. 

The family decided to watch the eclipse from Bloomington because of several factors, including its IU ties, the allure of Memorial Stadium and the path of totality. 

Feldman said he was extremely surprised many others did not follow, but he remains satisfied with his return to his alma mater and believes his kids are, too. 

“It’s been a great day,” Feldman said. “I think this will be something they’ll remember for a long time.” 

11:45 a.m. at Switchyard Park 

When Michelle Bowen started her drive from Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Bloomington this morning, she knew a total solar eclipse would be a great educational opportunity for her four homeschooled children.  

Next to her lawn table and chairs — where she played cards with her children — Bowen set up a tri-fold blue posterboard with a hanging mini-disco ball. The goal of the structure, Bowen said, was to reflect the changing path of the eclipse onto the board. 

“I was looking specifically for something that was fun and simple that would also demonstrate the eclipse and would also be safe for the eyes,” Bowen said.  

Bowen said she plans to spend the rest of her day at Switchyard Park, where there are food trucks and stands, live music, crafts and a playground. She said setting up the kids’ science project in the park also allowed them to talk to many new people.  

“Having the disco ball meant that six people have come by and stopped and asked about it, so I feel like that really helps with communication and developing those skills,” Bowen said.  

She also enjoyed how the event was “community minded” and welcoming to both Bloomington residents and visitors.  

“We came from out of state,” Bowen said. “They could have said ‘you have to have a residential card’ or something. So I think this was very open minded and inclusive for the city to do that.”  

11:30 a.m. at Switchyard Park  

Members of the seven-piece band Dog Named Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band, will have one shot to get their performance right. And it all hangs on the timing: finishing their performance of Floyd’s “Eclipse” right as the moon completely covers the sun. 

Amanda Webb, a singer for the group, said the tribute band was formed solely with this goal in mind.  

“Somebody [said] ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ ends with the song ‘Eclipse’, so it’s a huge deal all over the internet,” Webb said.  

Webb said Dog Named Floyd will play all of the “Dark side of the Moon” album before the eclipse begins at 3:04 p.m.  

All of the band’s musicians are from Bloomington and surrounding cities. They said that while there were less people in Bloomington than expected, it means more people might be able to drive or walk to Switchyard Park for their performance.  

“That was what we were worried about — people not being able to get here,” performer Brian Webb said.  

Performer Michele Brentano said this will be her second time seeing a total solar eclipse. She said she saw a total eclipse in Montana in the late 1970s.  

“Everybody needs to have the experience, get somewhere to see it,” Brentano said. “[Seeing the eclipse] was the most amazing experience so I am thrilled to be doing this.” 

Dog Named Floyd will start their performance around 2 p.m. at Switchyard Park. 

11:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium 

A chorus of horns and booming breakbeats ring out from the grand stage as 10-time Grammy nominated R&B singer Janelle Monáe’s band soundchecks in IU Memorial Stadium. The bleachers are mostly vacant, save for the IU band who wandered in to take their seats by the end zone. They occasionally cheer for the horn section of Monáe’s ensemble.  

The sun beats down on the field, usually made of turf, but today covered in a gray plastic platform for showgoers to stand on. In addition to Monáe, the stadium is hosting Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go to space, and “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.  

A crowd of around 10,000 are expected to flock to the stadium for the main event beginning at 1 p.m., according to Visit Bloomington Executive Director Mike McAfee. 

“I think it's been just this nice steady flow of people I've seen. I've been out and about in town, all weekend,” McAfee said. “Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today I’ve met tons of people from all over the country that are that are here for it.” 

Some IU performing arts ensembles will also take the stage prior to the eclipse. IU’s Marching Hundred will open the event, followed by the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Theater and Dance performing a Broadway number at 1:05. At 1:35, the IU Contemporary Dance Program will perform “Minor Bodies”, a duet choreographed by program director Elizabeth Shea. 

Shatner, who is performing a spoken word piece leading up to the total eclipse, will be accompanied by musicians from the Jacobs School of Music and NOTUS, IU’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. The accompanying piece was composed by Jacobs School of Music professor Dominick DiOrio, who will also conduct the piece during Shatner’s spoken word.  

Madeline Tokman, a graduate student singing alto in NOTUS’s performance, spent her teenage years watching Shatner in films and shows as his iconic Star Trek character Captain Kirk. 

“Never in a million years would I have imagined that, first of all, William Shatner was a real person I could actually see in real life, and second of all that I would be performing alongside him,” she said.  

Cloud cover at the time of the eclipse is expected to be minimal, so stadium showgoers are expecting a clear view of the total eclipse at 3:04 p.m. 

11:30 a.m. on Kirkwood Avenue 

Anticipation is building in Bloomington. Crowds cluster around Kilroy’s, Nick’s and the Sample Gates.  The morning clouds finally gave way, and a clear blue sky looms overhead. The sun casts a shadow on the street – a hint of what is to come in just under three and a half hours. 

Cars traveling through Kirkwood Avenue anxiously look for parking spaces, but most are filled. One man, however, cruises down the street in his car with the windows down and without a care in the world. He plays a timely song — The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” — from his radio as he passes the Monroe County Courthouse. 

A couple sets up a tripod in the green area in front of the courthouse. They situate it on a slab of concrete and take a seat in two lawn chairs facing the sun. The camera sits in a bag between them for now. 

It took a couple hours, but Kirkwood Avenue is doing what it does best. 

11:20 a.m. at Dunn’s Woods 

It's as normal a day as any in Dunn’s Woods. Squirrels (who declined requests for comment) scurry around, digging up walnuts they deposited last year. They’re a little skittish, as usual, but still come close if they think one has food. One squirrel chases another through the brush, ending up in a dogfight around a thick tree. 

It’s humid — the type of spring Indiana humidity that infects one’s nose like wasabi. The ground is muddy from Sunday’s rain, and about a third of the flora has bloomed. 

A brown flannel coat hangs alone on a bare branch. A man angrily yells to someone on the phone. More families than usual walk through the woods. A dog who is so friendly she has to say hi to everyone demands attention from everyone in her path. 

11:00 a.m. at Switchyard Park 

At 5 a.m., Dave, Joan and Adam Shevor set up a dark green canopy in the heart of Switchyard Park. A trio of chairs in a line sat paired with a trio of tripods. One held their long lens camera, another for a video camera and the third for a cell phone with a telephoto lens. All of them were directed at the sun’s anticipated position in the sky during the eclipse. 

They drove from Mundelein, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. It’s about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from their home in Mundelein to Bloomington.  

The Shevor family had this date circled on their calendar for a while. Adam said he booked the Hyatt Place Bloomington hotel back in May 2023.  

They knew to plan ahead; today wasn’t their first time traveling for the eclipse. In August 2017, the Shevors traveled to Carbondale, Illinois to see the eclipse. They stayed at a hotel in Carbondale and drove 45 minutes to the Giant City State Park to see it.  

After it ended, the original 45-minute drive turned into three hours to get back to their hotel. When they left the next morning, a six-hour drive back to Mundelein turned into 12 hours cause of the traffic.  

‘It was terrible,” Dave said. 

This time around, the Shevors not only plan to stay at Switchyard long after the eclipse is over, but the family isn’t leaving until Wednesday morning, when they’re sure they won’t be stuck in traffic. 

11 a.m. at Switchyard Park 

Switchyard Park is filled with more than 700 residents and visitors trying to find the perfect viewing spot for the total solar eclipse, set to happen in less than four hours. 

Parkgoers are listening to live music performances from the Celestial Spectacle as they set up tents and lawn chairs. Many families with children parked their chairs next to the park’s playground or the City of Bloomington Park and Recreation Department craft station. 

Tara Brooke, an events specialist for the Parks and Recreation Department, said she has been planning the craft station for more than a year. Participants can build eclipse viewers, spaceship magnets and UFO masks, and can participate in “sun printing” for free. While she plans events like the one at Switchyard Park as part of her job, she said it was hard to expect the number of people who would be at the event. 

Sun printing involves placing objects on top of photo-reactive paper which then projects the image of the object onto the paper after exposure to the sun. 

“I’m just here for the ride,” Brooke said. 

10:30 a.m. on Rogers Street, in front of Catalent Plant 

Bloomington resident Yunika Jackson waved and welcomed pedestrians walking toward Switchyard Park from her tent on Rogers Street as she sold handmade T-shirts, sandals and jewelry from her business “Yunik-da-fied.” 

“I love people, so I just wanted to set up and meet people, especially with people from out of town,” Jackson said. 

Jackson, who moved to Bloomington 31 years ago, said families from North Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia have stopped by her tent this morning. 

“If you visit Bloomington once, you're going to come back because its so beautiful and people are very inviting and welcoming,” Jackson said. “It is a great place to raise children, great place to raise people — we have everything in Bloomington that a big city has on a smaller scale.” 

10:15 a.m. on Kirkwood Avenue

Scott Hasselbrinck stands behind a makeshift booth made from a white plastic folding table. He passes out flyers, stickers and eclipse viewing glasses to pockets of people passing through Kirkwood Avenue. 

He is promoting Offstage, a music organization he started. He interviews artists and promotes them on social media. 

“Just setting up, trying to get our name out there, and make a little money,” he said. 

It has not been as busy as he expected, but he said he hopes his booth becomes busier as the day progresses. 

10 a.m. 

It’s still unclear how cloudy it will be at 3:04 p.m., but the National Weather Service is forecasting 26% cloud coverage at 3 p.m. for central Indiana. According to the NWS, cloud coverage is the expected amount of opaque clouds covering the sky. 

IU atmospheric science lecturer Cody Kirkpatrick posted on X that a series of cirrus clouds are moving toward Bloomington from the southwest. However, it’s unclear how thick the clouds will be, or when they will arrive.

8 a.m. outside of Kilroy’s 

The sun is rising through the Sample Gates over the line outside Kilroy's on Kirkwood and the Upstairs Pub. In six hours at 3:04 p.m., it'll disappear behind the moon, but for now, its golden light colors students’ hair as they wait in line and rain-wet pavement. Cold fingers grip cold drinks and hot coffees. 

The two bars open early on days with football games and special events for Breakfast Club, where they offer brunch drinks, free food and some free T-shirts. By 8:20 a.m., the lines have already started to wind around the block. 

Twenty-one year olds Katie Broderick, Mia Ristic, Brendan Burns and their friends are going to their first Breakfast Club at Kilroy's. They're first in line —  they've been there since 7:30 a.m. 

They're excited for today, they said. 

"We heard there's so many people coming," Broderick said. 

"And we're going to be in the line of totality!" Ristic added. "It's gonna be dark at, like, 4 p.m." 

A few people further back in the line, IU seniors Zoe Gallagher, Maddie Tyler and Ruth Connelly are sporting matching eclipse-themed shirts. They got to Kirkwood at 7 a.m., they said, but it was so dead they got coffee first. 

They said they thought more people would be out, but it's been quiet so far. 

"They were like 'there's gonna be no parking’,” Gallagher said. “Even my mom was freaking out."

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