Hundreds line up for Knoxville store’s last shipment of solar eclipse safety glasses

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Hundreds of people lined up at Ace Hardware stores in Knoxville on Thursday to buy solar eclipse glasses. Glasses have been hard to come by for weeks after several stores and websites sold out.

“This is my second Ace Hardware,” said Sandra Steen. “The first one I went to yesterday in Lenoir City had run out.”

The line ran down the sidewalk and around the shopping center.

Anna Corsaro and her friend Nick Rokisky were the first people in line Thursday morning at the Rocky Hill location. The pair waited six hours after showing up at 6 a.m.

“It’s kind of interesting to watch the line grow and see how many people are going to be here before 12 o’clock comes,” said Corsaro.

Steen waited for three and a half hours to get glasses for her neighbor.

Related: Where to get solar eclipse glasses in Knoxville

“She got me out here,” said Steen. “She got on the internet and found out they were giving the glasses here and had me here at 8:30 this morning.”

Steen and her new friend, Jennifer Rand, who she met today, found ways to pass the time.

“We have all been sharing the resources we have, whether it’s food or chairs or macaroons and we’ve been talking and gotten to know each other,” said Rand.

East Tennessee isn’t the only place people are struggling to find glasses. Candy Curtis drove up from Atlanta to get her pair.

“Very chaotic,” said Curtis. “Every place we went, they were sold out.”

Ace Hardware got in a shipment of 1,000 pairs and allowed each customer to buy six. The store sold out around 2 p.m. before all of the customers were able to buy them.

The glasses sold at Ace Hardware are ISO 12312-2 compliant and NASA approved.

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