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Celebrating the April 8 Eclipse: Find Out-of-This-World Festivals

Skywatchers across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada are preparing to celebrate the total solar eclipse on April 8. Festivals and special events along the eclipse’s path will feature music, fun, and opportunities to observe the phenomenon as it casts its dramatic shadow.

During this rare celestial event, the moon will blot out the sun over parts of the South, Midwest, New England, and Canada. The resulting shadow will travel along the roughly 100-mile-wide “path of totality.” While the total eclipse will last mere minutes, there are plenty of opportunities to extend the festivities in the preceding hours and days. Consult NASA’s Total Eclipse website for locations and times for eclipse watching across North American states and provinces.

If you haven’t already made your travel plans, learn more about where to camp for the 2024 total solar eclipse and get the answers to some frequently asked questions. While campgrounds and hotels are booking fast, you can still attend a festival or special eclipse event even if you aren’t staying nearby.

Special solar eclipse glasses will be handed out at many events. Some will also offer a full schedule of entertainment, crafts, speakers, and more. While many locations are hosting festivals on the day of the eclipse, a few are taking advantage of the full weekend with three- or four-day events.

Here is a look at some of the 2024 solar eclipse festivities, along with some nearby Good Sam Campgrounds, taking place across the U.S.

Band members on a stge

Photo Courtesy of Mountain View, Arkansas

South and Central States

Arkansas: 2024 Solar Eclipse Festival in Mountain View

Mountain View, located in the heart of the rugged but picturesque Ozark Mountains, will host the 2024 Solar Eclipse Festival to celebrate the 4 minutes and 14 seconds of totality, one of the longest times in the state. Festivities and music will be offered in the historic town square, and parking can be reserved for $50, which includes four pairs of eclipse glasses, a map of downtown, and a shuttle service to the square.

Kentucky: X Marks the Spot Downtown Festival in Paducah

Paducah is one of the few locations that will have experienced both the 2017 and 2024 total solar eclipse, and it’s one of the only spots in Kentucky in the 2024 path of totality. In honor of this unique treat, Paducah is hosting the X Marks the Spot Downtown Festival, a two-day street festival on April 7 and 8. Live music and science-themed events will be part of the fun. The National Quilt Museum and several city parks will provide open spaces for viewing.

Texas: 2024 Solar Eclipse Festival in Fredericksburg

Experience the eclipse in luxury at Fredericksburg’s 2024 Solar Eclipse Festival, hosted on April 8 by Grapetown Vineyard and the Fredericksburg Polo Club. Watch polo matches, eat a farm-to-table dinner featuring award-winning wines, and enjoy live music while waiting for the celestial main event. That evening, your eyes will turn to the skies for a different reason, as the festival’s hot air balloon glow event begins. Camping is offered onsite.

Man looking up at eclipse.

Getty Images


Illinois: Southern Illinois Crossroads Eclipse Festival in Carbondale

Carbondale is another city in the path of the 2024 eclipse after experiencing totality in 2017. The Southern Illinois Crossroads Eclipse Festival, hosted in partnership with NASA, offers a full lineup of events from April 5 through 8 on the campus of Southern Illinois University. Take part in a 5k race, enjoy live music, hear expert speakers, and bring the kids for family fun.

Indiana: 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Event in Indianapolis

Purdue University, NASA, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are joining forces for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Event. Visitors will gather on the speedway as NASA experts broadcast live, capping off a day of special events in an iconic location. Onsite camping is available.

Stay: Ceraland Park & Campground, Columbus, Indiana

Stage with lasers shooting into audience.

Photo Courtesy of Solar Strings Festival

Missouri: Solar Strings Festival in French Village

Want to combine all of the fun of a music festival with your solar eclipse viewing? The Solar Strings Festival will bring Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder along with a lineup of over 20 bands/performers to a scenic patch of the Ozarks. Visitors can spread out amid over 200 acres of rolling grasslands. Onsite camping and a full schedule of events round out the fun at Astral Village Art Park in French Village, located southwest of St. Louis.

Ohio: Total Eclipse Fest 2024

Downtown Cleveland will host the Ohio Total Eclipse Fest 2024 from April 6 to 8 at the North Coast Harbor, amid some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Voinovich Bicentennial Park, and FirstEnergy Stadium. The Great Lakes Science Center, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, and The Cleveland Orchestra have teamed up for an out-of-this-world schedule of special events, featuring live music, arts and crafts, and a live NASA broadcast.

Building with windmill and dome.

Great Lakes Science Center

South on Interstate 77, the MAPS Air Museum in North Canton offers guaranteed parking spots with an unobstructed view for $40 per car. Included in the deal are eclipse viewing glasses, lunch, and tours of the museum.

Stay: Wood’s Tall Timber Resort, New Philadelphia, Ohio

Eastern Seaboard/Canada

New York: Roc the Eclipse in Rochester

Some of New York’s most celebrated scenic regions are in the path of totality, promising natural beauty alongside the celestial event. Take your pick from Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, or the Adirondack Mountains. One of the largest events may be the Roc the Eclipse festival in Rochester, running April 6 to 8. Join a silent disco, take in a live theatre show, hear from renowned astronomers, and more. Tickets include admission to the Strasenburgh Planetarium and the RMSC Museum & Science Center.

Pennsylvania: Special Events Near Erie

The path of totality will cross over northwestern Pennsylvania near Lake Erie, and the whole region is rolling out the red carpet for visitors. The VisitErie website already has a special eclipse playlist posted with celestial-themed tunes. In February, the Eclipsing Stars multimedia exhibit will open at the FEED Media Center. The main event comes on April 8, with special public viewings hosted at Lake Erie Speedway, Mercyhurst University, and Presque Isle State Park. Plus, over 20 wineries in the Lake Erie Wine Country region are joining the fun.

Concert stage from audience pov

Getty Images

Vermont: The Whiteout in Jay

What could be cooler than listening to a rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” as the world plunges into darkness? If this sounds like your idea of fun, head to The Whiteout at the Jay Peak Resort in Jay. Live music and other special events start the day before the eclipse, leading to the outdoor concert and eclipse viewing on April 8.

Quebec: Eclipse Educational Events

Fifteen miles north of the U.S. border, the Mont-Mégantic Observatory hosts several educational events regarding the eclipse, along with a special viewing event on April 8. You also can find several eclipse viewing areas in the Quebec City and Montreal areas.

Stay: Camping Valee Bleue Resort, West Brom, Quebec (short drive south across the U.S.-Canada border into Vermont).

These are just a handful of the special eclipse events and festivals taking place in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada! If you’d rather not celebrate in a large crowd, the good news is that the eclipse can be experienced anywhere within the path of totality and beyond, so there is room for everyone to find a slice of the sky.

The post Celebrating the April 8 Eclipse: Find Out-of-This-World Festivals appeared first on Good Sam Camping Blog.


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