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Apr. 8—The Discover Niagara Shuttle will be providing eclipse-day rides to points of interest on the western end of Niagara County.

Shuttles will service the two main routes on the western half of the county, from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara and the Four Mile Creek Campground Loop, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. On the Falls to Fort route, the Niagara Falls State Park and Artpark stops will not be serviced.

A press release from the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area stated one of the shuttles will feature a special eclipse-themed wrap of an artwork from Orchard Park artist Christina Francis, titled “Eclipse!” The piece depicts a sea creature rising out of Niagara Falls to cover the sun.

“This total eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the themed shuttle reflects the excitement and wonder surrounding this celestial event,” said Niagara Falls National Heritage Area executive director Sara Capen.

Regular operations for the Discover Niagara Shuttle will resume on May 24.

For today, Old Fort Niagara will hold a series of special events to commemorate the eclipse including demonstrations of typical fort life, science stations set up by Lewiston-Porter students and a weather balloon that will launch 18 miles into the atmosphere with a camera, pending environmental conditions.

From 10 a.m. until noon, Christian Ferradas, part of the Heliophysics Department at NASA’s Goddard Flight Center in Maryland, will be giving presentations at the Historic Officer’s Club about the Sun and its connection to the universe.

‘We’ve been working with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area,” said Executive Director Robert Emerson. “Through them, we were able to get a scientist to come out.”

The events do have a limited capacity, with seating on a first-come, first-in basis. The queue starts at 8:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. presentation and 11 a.m. for the noon presentation.

Emerson said they are expecting thousands at the Fort to watch the eclipse, with bus tours bringing a few hundred people each, with some coming in from Vermont.

The day’s schedule of events is as follows:

—10 a.m., Opening of Old Fort Niagara

—11 a.m., Musket Firing Demonstration

—11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Visit the Castle

—12 p.m., Musket Firing

—12:30 p.m., Use math skills to design an 18th-century fort

—12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Science Demonstrations

—1 p.m., Cannon Firing and Musket Firing

—1:30 p.m., Weather Balloon Launch

—2 p.m., Cannon Firing

—2:03 p.m., Partial Eclipse begins

—3:18 p.m., Totality

—4:30 p.m., Partial Eclipse ends

—5 p.m., Cannon Firing and Musket Firing Demonstration

Eclipse glasses will be for sale at the Fort’s gift shop.

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