A rare astronomical phenomenon is coming on Monday, Aug. 21, and the Ridgefield Library and Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Department invite residents to be part of it.

A viewing of the first total eclipse of the sun viewable in the continental United States in 40 years will take place at both the library and Ballard Park.

The day will start with a drop-in storytime with an astronomical theme at the library at 10:30 a.m. for children ages three and up, and will continue from 1 to 4 p.m. in the park with educational presentations, crafts, games, music with a DJ, a solar system scavenger hunt and viewing of the eclipse with special safe viewing glasses provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Space Science Institute.

Throughout the day, visitors can arrive at the library to view footage on a big screen of the eclipse as it travels across the country and to enjoy displays and activities.

While only part of the country will experience a total blackout, the New York City metro region, including western Connecticut, is expected to reach its peak eclipse coverage (around 75%) at approximately 2:45 p.m. Activities are open to all ages, and family participation is encouraged. Organizers ask residents to bring a blanket and lunch.

No registration necessary — just report to the gazebo in Ballard Park starting at 1 p.m. to receive free glasses and instruction on safe viewing. While viewing may be obscured in the event of overcast or rainy weather, alternative activities will take place at the library rain or shine. The next total solar eclipse over the continental United States won’t take place until 2024, so don’t miss this chance.

Call 203-438-2282, ext. 11009 with questions or visit ridgefieldlibrary.org for details and breaking news.