Dozens camped out in uptown hoping to grab solar eclipse glasses

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - People are driving hours to Charlotte just to purchase eclipse glasses.

The Discovery Place in uptown is still selling the glasses and had 2,000 in their gift shop on Wednesday, however, all of them have been pre-sold.

[Solar eclipse checklist: Everything you need to pack, bring with you on eclipse day]

People will have one more chance to buy the glasses on a first come, first serve basis on Thursday.

Discovery Place will sell 1,000 glasses and Channel 9 saw dozens of people camped out in front of the science center as early as 7 a.m.

 

 

"We've got people who are going to be coming in at 7 in the morning waiting in line and we don't open till 9 and we're not selling them until noon," Clerk Donna Auer said.

Discovery Place staff said tickets for purchasing the glasses would be handed out at 11 a.m. and that each person could only purchase 10.

Many people who hoped to purchase the glasses Wednesday were disappointed when they realized they aren't selling more until Thursday. 

"This is the only time my brother and I will ever see it and it was kind of disappointing we didn't get the eclipse glasses," Leo Nielsen said. 

He and his brother drove to uptown from Fort Mill just to learn the disappointing news. 

Their mother has been scrambling to find somewhere, anywhere, that still has the glasses. 

Channel 9's Mark Barber asked, "So the mad dash for glasses is on. What are you finding?"

"Nothing! Everywhere is sold out. Fort Mill is sold out. Charlotte is sold out," Bryce Nielsen said. 

Exhausted store clerks said their hands hurt from taking so many orders. 

"I'm going to need a vacation," laughed Auer. 

She said people who live in other major cities are traveling to Charlotte to buy their glasses because they've already sold out in their home towns. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: The Great American Eclipse]

"They've been traveling from pretty far out, Greensboro and down in Greenville, South Carolina," said Auer. 

The Discovery Place filled 6,000 orders last week.

On Wednesday, they had 2,000 more pre-sold glasses on hand for excited viewers.

 

 

"I'm delighted, I'm thrilled, now it's a question of where we'll be," customer Kathleen Mundle said. 

Providence Produce also posted on Facebook that it's selling certified eclipse glasses that will be released for sale at noon on Friday. It will be on a first come, first serve basis and it will be limited two per customer.

In Rock Hill, Channel 9 reporter Greg Suskin watched as hundreds of people lined up Thursday morning outside the library in hopes of landing a pair of glasses.

One person in line said the library had 60 glasses and would only give one pair per family.

 

 

If you aren't able to find any glasses, there are still a few ways you can view the eclipse safely. 

NASA will stream it live online.

You can watch the eclipse through 'solarscopes' at Raleigh's Life and Science Museum. 

You can also make a pinhole projector to watch the eclipse.

To find out how to make a pinhole projector, click here.

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