Festus proves to be one of the best places to view eclipse

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FESTUS, Mo. – When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s a busy morning; especially for the Domino's drivers and cooks keeping up with the eclipse viewing demand.

“We’ve had a lot of area codes for numbers that are not Festus,” said Brittany Confer, general manager at Festus Domino's Pizza.

The out-of-state license plates helped paint this picture atop Andrew J. Habsieger Memorial Park.

“One of our cousins, who lives outside of Paris, wanted to see the solar eclipse and be in the path of totality, so our other cousins in the Midwest researched and found Festus and here we are,” said Yen Ha, a New York City resident. “We brought all our picnic gear.”

Twenty-six cousins from across the globe gathered for the once in a lifetime memory, people who’ve been sharing memories all their lives. Including an intrepid uncle who built a pinhole viewer with a scope.

“I Googled it,” said Haison Lu, who came here from Wisconsin. “I didn’t invent this, NASA invented this. I tested it out and it worked. That’s great. This is my first time, but I did try it out the day before.”

As did Jim Han, who built a telescope when he was only 15.

“When I built this thing, I ground the mirror myself,” Han said. “It’s an eight-inch mirror, but I had it professionally reground to get a better image. There’s a lot of figuring out how long the tube has to be and where to put the holes, but it was an educational experience for a high schooler.”

For 2 minutes, 36 seconds we all shared a memory. And for 26 cousins, it was one family reunion they'd never forget.

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