BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The eclipse is getting close, and it is a good reason for people to line up all across the country to celebrate, educate and recreate.
For the Biloxi High School Class of 1981, the heavenly event will be one of its more interesting excuses to unwind and chill out.
"I thought what would be more perfect than watching an eclipse and hanging out with your old classmates," said organizer Oscar Lestrade.
The group has been meeting once a month since 2013.
"We meet whenever there's a festival, event, get together reason," Lestrade said. "It could be a Saturday night, Friday night. No matter what's going on, we want to be there."
The next one at the Margaritaville pool in Biloxi is on a Monday, but that's not going to slow things down.
"We're seeing it across the continental United States," said classmate AnaLiesa Hayes. "That's the whole thing. A lot of times, they're somewhere else. We don't get a chance to enjoy them. I took the day off."
Lestrade has been preparing for the meetup for three months. It took a while to stock up on the party favors - NASA approved viewing glasses.
It's also a good opportunity for the owner of Lighthouse Video to record the event, and Sunday was a good day to test out special equipment for his cameras.
"Rarely do people film eclipse correctly," Lestrade said. "I wanted to do it correctly with the right lens, the correct filter and all that and do a nice time lapse. You never know when you might need something like that."
Hayes said it can only help attendance at social get togethers.
"There's so many of us who live down here and we rarely get a chance to see each other," Hayes said. "So, we just took advantage of it, and I think this is going to be great."
For Lestrade, the draw of the eclipse is simple.
"It's just the appeal," he said. "It's the middle of the day, and the sun's going away."