While we’re all accustomed to wedding dance parties, and dances for birthdays, New Years Eve and other special occasions, most people have never heard of, much less have been to an eclipse party; Which is exactly what took place at Hancock park in Chicago in honor of the recent solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.
These events were extra special for several reasons. Aside from this being the first total solar eclipse to traverse the continetal United States in 38 years, it has been noted as the most documented eclipse in history, being one of the few to occur in this age of social media. Since so many American’s were viewing a total eclipse for the first time, hundreds of thousands of people traveled from all around the country to the 14 states with complete views, known as the path of totality. Others in outlier areas like Chicago also held grand celebrations.
John Hancock 360 observation deck in Chicago threw a special dance party in celebration of the rare total eclipse. Boasting unobstructed 360 degree views from the 94th floor, the entire place was buzzing with intergalactic planetary themes everywhere. From revelers decked out in galactic print clothing and souvenirs, to the Constellation cocktail drinks for the kids and Sun Crusher beer for adults, this was a stellar affair for the whole family.
There was even planetary themed music playing on repeat while attendees showed off their best dance moves, dawning their protective eclipse viewing glasses. If a song had any mention of planets, stars, the sun or moon in it, it was high up on the DJ’s set list. The solar eclipse dance party was such a popular draw that it sold out within an hour after opening.
Eclipse celebration dance under the cover of darkness at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort.
There were watch parties in other parts of the city, (as well as) throughout the country and even out at sea! One of the biggest eclipse themed dance parties was on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Oasis of the Seas, as the ship sailed through the path of totality. The 4,000 passenger capacity ship sold out even before special musical guests DNCE (led by Joe Jonas) and 1980’s pop rock singer Bonnie Tyler were announced.
Tyler headlined the musical showcase, bringing down the house with a medley) rendition of her classic hit, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which was trimmed down by a few minutes to match the length of the eclipse.
Bonnie Tyler performs her cosmic themed hit with Joe Jonas and his pop group DNCE at sea.
After its initial release 34 years ago, Tyler’s 80’s power ballad re-emerged on the scene with a 3000 percent increase in streams on Spotify and skyrocketed to number one on the iTunes charts hours leading up to the cosmic event. The song became the unofficial anthem for the celestial spectacle across radio airwaves, news stations and amongst spectators, many of whom just discovered the pop song turned cosmic theme for the first time.
Small kick off dance party to eclipse theme song “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
Other standout parties of note were the Crossroads festival at Southern Illinois University. A full on music festival complete with concerts, comic con, family fun zone, marketplace, galaxy ride events, science and tech expo, carnival and planetary radio live. Spectator Amanda Vinicky stated, “It was a festival sort of atmosphere you literally had a beer tent, carnival rides, a band, and a whole lot of very excited people wearing garb of the solar eclipse.” This was cause for revelers nationwide to grab a pair of safety glasses, get in the spirit and celebrate the rare spectacle with a dance under the eclipsed sun.