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Festivals, postmarks and more will celebrate the April 8 total solar eclipse

A man observing the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017
An observer witnesses the total solar eclipse in Hopkinsville, KY, on Aug. 21, 2017.

North America will experience its first total solar eclipse in almost seven years on Monday, April 8 — and there will be plenty of opportunities to mark the occasion with mailable mementos.

The Hamburg, NY, Post Office is offering a celestial pictorial postmark that includes the words “total solar eclipse overhead path.”

“It will be total darkness here for three minutes, and we wanted to capture that. Make it special,” said Alison Potenzo, a customer relations coordinator who designed the postmark.

“It’s a special day, it’s a special event, and especially after COVID, people need things to look forward to,” she said.

The Hamburg, NY, Post Office is offering this pictorial postmark to commemorate the April 8 total solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks Earth’s view of the sun. Before the most recent eclipse in 2017, the contiguous United States had not seen one since 1979.

In addition to New York, there are 12 other states in this year’s path of totality: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The Sterling Nature Center in Sterling, NY, is holding an eclipse event that will feature music, barbecue and its own pictorial postmark, which was selected in a contest. It will also release postcards and envelopes to mark the festivities.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center will unveil six special edition postcards at the Total Eclipse Fest 2024 at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.

The free postcards, which feature retro art and fun facts, will be distributed at NASA Village, a part of the festival with scientists, engineers and astronauts from the agency.

USPS marked the 2017 event with Total Eclipse of the Sun, a first-of-its-kind thermographic Forever stamp. When the stamp’s eclipse image came in contact with body heat, it revealed an image of the moon. When it cooled again, the original eclipse image appeared.