Love in the shadow: Couple gets engaged amidst eclipse viewing in Nashua

couple engaged during 2024 solar eclipse

By Stacy Milbouer

April 9, 2024

As the eclipse was peaking, the light was turning, Katilin Palaza picked up her dog, Gidget, who was quivering as the temperature dropped a few degrees on the Cotton Mill Bridge in Nashua with her new fiancé, Mark Grimshaw.

The couple got engaged the day before and celebrated in Nashua during the eclipse.

“We got engaged right here on this spot,” Palaza said.

Grimshaw added, “It’s the first anniversary from when we started dating, and the eclipse makes it more romantic.”

Hundreds of eclipsers in Nashua spread out through the city finding their little corner of a cloudless, cerulean sky on what felt like the true first day of spring Monday. Some chose corners of the city’s parks, others chose parking lots, backyards, and bridges crossing the Merrimack and Nashua rivers.

When they woke up this morning, 600 residents who gave up on viewing, because they couldn’t find safe eclipse glasses were delighted when the non-profit Great American Downtown Nashua surprised the city with a popup eclipse glasses giveaway on the Main Street Bridge of the Nashua River. News spread fast and by noon, families and friends, grandparents, and couples lined up while Paul Shea, director of the organization, handed them glasses and wished them a “happy eclipse day.”

You’d think he was handing out $20 bills by the reaction. Christine, who worked at a local care facility picked up extra glasses for the elderly.

“A lot of the elderly people who want to experience this today along with some of the employees so I’m here to hopefully buy a bunch of glasses so we can safely see it together. For most of them, it’s going to be their last chance to see something like this,” she said.

She was not disappointed, walking away with a box of 15 glasses and a lump in her throat. “It’s very emotional for me that these people will get to see this.”

Emotion was also the word for the day for several couples viewing the event from the banks of the Nashua River. One couple—Liam 25 and Diane, 24, —came to the river from Massachusetts and was lying on a blanket with two red fuzzy pillows and a bag of potato chips.

“We came here because it’s a good location close to downtown and we’d been in Nashua before and the people are friendly,” Liam said. “This is really cool,” said Diane, looking through her cardboard specs. Then she stuck out her hand to show a stranger a diamond ring. “We just got engaged,” she said.

 

Author

  • Stacy Milbouer

    Stacy Milbouer is an award-winning journalist and has covered New Hampshire for many publications including the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Magazine, and the Nashua Telegraph.

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