Around downtown Charleston, the fantastical mixed with the mundane as hundreds gathered to watch the eclipse while others went about their lives as if nothing much was happening.

"Look at it, mom," a child shouted as a family made its way down Meeting Street around 2 p.m.

"Ah, I’ll just watch it later online," the mother said.

Dozens of people stumbled about trying to move along the sidewalks with their heads tilted to the heavens, clutching their cardboard solar glasses to their heads.

A trio of College of Charleston students chatted on the steps of a gymnasium facility, oblivious to the antics. A man hustled by with a pizza box, set on getting wherever he was headed.

Hundreds, however, packed Marion Square, lying on blankets with their heads positioned skyward. An occasional gasp or cheer rolled through the crowd when the clouds parted and revealed the solar display overhead.

It was a doubly special day for Josie Thompson of Myrtle Beach, falling as it did on her 21st birthday. She had always wanted to celebrate the occasion in Charleston.

And when she heard it coincided with the eclipse, she decided: "That’s double the reasons to go."

She and friend Frank Colby Newell couldn’t scrounge up any special solar glasses but he had some old welders’ helmets at home from his days assembling BMX equipment. They did the trick. They drew some stares but ...

"Works great," Newell said.

Steven Lawrence took an Amtrack train from New York City to catch the eclipse in Charleston, toting along a high-powered telescope with a special solar filter. An astronomy buff since childhood, the 37-year-old hospital worker wasn’t about to miss his first chance at seeing an eclipse.

Lawrence wasn’t daunted by the cloud cover, "We’ve already seen the partial eclipse come through so it’s worth it," he said.

- Glenn Smith

This story will be updated continuously throughout the day.

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Josie Thompson and Coby Newell didn't have solar glasses but they did have some welder masks. Glenn Smith/Staff

Downtown Charleston

Photographers Grace Beahm Alford, Leroy Burnell and Matthew Fortner captured the scene in downtown Charleston.

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The eclipse in Charleston is in progress. This photo was taken at 1:30 p.m. Matthew Fortner/Staff

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Savanna Catoe of Columbia, South Carolina is in Charleston for the solar eclipse. Leroy Burnell/Staff

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Large crowd at The Battery in downtown Charleston. Leroy Burnell/Staff

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Paul Almeruth traveled from England to Charleston to watch the solar eclipse. He was in downtown Charleston on Monday, August 21, 2017. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

The Charleston Riverdogs

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The Charleston RiverDogs are holding an eclipse event. Michael Pronzato/Staff

Isle of Palms

Reporter Andrew Knapp is on Isle of Palms. He overheard a conversation that said, "I really hope those clouds go away. We just drove 17 hours to get here."

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Val Carney of Asheville sculpting a rendering of the eclipse in sand in Isle of Palms on Monday, August 21, 2017. Andrew Knapp/Staff

The Bend - North Charleston

A "Total Eclipse Charleston" celebration happened at  the Ashley River at the recently opened 17-acre outdoor venue The Bend in North Charleston.


The crowd at The Bend in North Charleston. Brooks Brunson/staff

23 Skidoo, a Grammy Award-winning kids band performed leading up to the big moment.

Just before totality, an event worker announced that a child had gone missing. She was found just before the sky went dark. (Read more about the event.)

College of Charleston - NASA

NASA experts are stationed at College of Charleston for today's solar eclipse. Reporter Bo Petersen covered the event.

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NASA at the College of Charleston for the Solar Eclipse. Michael Pronzato/Staff

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People gathering at the NASA headquarters at the College of Charleston for the solar eclipse. Michael Pronzato/Staff

Folly Beach visitor experiences "some weird science fiction movie" as eclipse hovers above


Alex Tocco sings and plays his  guitar while welcoming the  eclipse at  Folly Beach. Prentiss Findlay/staff

"It's good to be able to show the love and share the music." 

Surfers and swimmers took to the ocean to experience the celestial event from the sea. Others sat in the surf with their faces turned skyward.
(Read more from reporter Prentiss Findlay) 

Crowds flock to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia to watch the solar eclipse

COLUMBIA — By 11:15 a.m., parking attendants were telling drivers the parking lots at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden they had to leave their cars somewhere else if they wanted to catch a glimpse of the eclipse from here.

Staff estimated more than 6,000 guests already were in the park, with more families ranging from grandparents to children in strollers still streaming through the gates. - By Maya T. Prabhu (Read more)

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People look up at the sky for the solar eclipse event at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina on Monday, August 21, 2017Maya T. Prabhu/Staff

Sumter National Forest

MOUNTAIN REST — The partial solar eclipse crossed into South Carolina at 1:07 p.m. Monday with families in the Sumter National Forest at the state's northwest border with Georgia slipping on their eclipse glasses to gaze at the slowly developing phenomenon.

Just a few clouds dotted the sky in Oconee County, none near the path of the disappearing sun. Campers, some of whom had taken their place day's in advance to be among the very first people in South Carolina to witness the total solar eclipse, emerged from their tents and cars to get a look at the much-anticipated event. - By Jamie Lovegrove (Read more)

Eclipse watchers take over South Carolina Statehouse grounds

COLUMBIA — The steps of the South Carolina Statehouse began to fill up hours before people's eyes turned to the sky.

People reserved what shade they could find on the statehouse grounds. Others piled around the stone monuments. - By Andrew Brown (Read more)