28 Top Solar Eclipse Events Across the Country
A total transcontinental solar eclipse arrives Aug. 21, America's first since 1918 and the only one until 2024. With an approximately 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina, even partial views of this once-in-a-lifetime event will be possible across North America -- something to celebrate with plenty of viewing parties and other events planned coast to coast. Get ready to dance in the (daytime) dark, and do a little research to view the event safely.
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes minor-league baseball team hosts a three-game "EclipseFest" Aug. 18-21 in Salem. Festivities include local beer, wine, and food, kids activities, fireworks and an Aug. 21 morning game with a built-in "eclipse delay."
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville hosts an Aug. 19-21 weekend of hands-on activities and educational presentations. The eclipse will be live streamed in the theater, with astronomers on hand.
Price: $5 for the Aug. 21 eclipse viewing party
Lowell Observatory astronomers, educators, and personalities from The Science Channel take viewing party events to the next level Aug. 20-22 in Madras & Bend, running talks and solar experiments alongside star parties.
With its site near the rim of an extinct volcano, Crater Adventures in Menan offers a unique, 360-degree locale for viewing, and a weekend of activities Aug. 18-22.
Price: Parking fees start at $20
There are multiple viewing sites and a weekend of activities Aug. 18-21 at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, including an eclipse movie and planetarium lecture.
Price: Free, but reservations are advised
Wyoming Stargazing in Jackson fills eclipse week with stargazing programs, daytime astronomy-related events, summit views from Snow King Mountain, and an eclipse viewing party downtown.
The Wind River Hotel & Casino on the Wind River Reservation in Riverton hosts the Arapaho Eclipse Celebration Aug. 17-21 with presentations, star viewing parties, Northern Arapaho music, dance, and storytelling, and tours.
An outdoor worship service, along with a craft fair, live music, wagon rides, a cowboy skills competition, stargazing, a street dance, and post-eclipse barbecue are planned for Aug. 20-21 in Tryon, part of "Eclipse in the Sandhills."
Price: Event fees start at $5
The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island hosts "Gem Over the Prairie," with Railroad Town interpreters offering a look at the eclipse in 1890s form.
Price: Museum admission is $8
Speakers from NASA representatives to Bill Nye the Science Guy will be at Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice from Aug. 19-21, with music, hands-on activities, presentations, stargazing, and more.
Astronomers from The Vatican Observatory are coming to Benedictine College in Atchison for Aug. 20-21 programs that include an astronomy-themed concert, solar telescopes, and a football stadium viewing party.
Bring a blanket and picnic lunch Aug. 21 and nibble "cosmic cookies" and sip "star juice" at La Salle Retreat Center in Glencoe.
Price: Free, but overnight packages are offered
The parking lot of the East Hills Shopping Center in St. Joseph turns into eclipse central Aug. 19-21, with activities including a walk-through planetarium and viewing party. (Show your eclipse glasses and get some mall discounts.)
Price: Parking spaces can be reserved for $25
The eclipse-viewing event at E.H. Young Park in Riverside is also a "Food Truck Frenzy," in case all that looking works up a hunger.
Price: Free, but $5 tickets include protective eyewear
Bring a lawn chair and watch "Spaceballs," just one part of Hermann activities Aug. 19-21 that include an eclipse viewing party -- and coincide with an annual Wine & Jazz Festival.
Price: Some events are free; a viewing site hayride with a box lunch and solar glasses is $12
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has Aug. 19-21 activities ranging from educational sessions to an arts and crafts fair; Crossroads Astronomy, Science and Technology Expo; and "guided eclipse experience" emceed by Mat Kaplan of Planetary Radio.
Price: There are free events; Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium starts at $25
Calling all H.O.G.s (Harley Owners Groups, that is): Black-Diamond Harley-Davidson is hosting a motorcycle-only eclipse viewing party and stunt show Aug. 21 in Marion.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Golden Pond hosts "Sun and Moon Days" Aug. 16-23 with eclipse shows throughout at its Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, and an eclipse viewing picnic at the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm.
Price: Most events are $5 for adults, $3 for children
This year's "Little Green Men" Days Festival -- an annual event commemorating a reported 1950s local encounter with extraterrestrials -- falls during the eclipse Aug. 18-21 in Kelly. There's a 38-foot flying saucer, concert, screening of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," costume contests -- and an eclipse viewing.
Price: Free; $5 parking and includes a raffle ticket
A lecture on "Eclipses in History and Culture" might grab adults' attention, but all kinds of kids' activities are on the agenda for "Eclipse 2017: Total Eclipse Watching," an all-day event Aug. 21 at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.
Franklin hosts a "Total Solar Eclipse Block Party" with concerts and kids' activities (and free RC Cola and Moon Pie for the first 100 attendees). The lower level of Town Hall hosts NASA's four-hour live stream.
Normally closed Mondays, Ninety Six National Historic Site's Visitor Center opens Aug. 21 with solar system-themed activities geared toward families in its Star Fort Pond, along with an eclipse viewing.
Columbia calls itself the "Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast" and has some 80 special events planned Aug. 18-21 to prove it, including astronomy activities, a 5K run, space-themed musical events, a festival, public art/laser light installation, movie nights, a giant viewing tailgate event, and more.
Price: Most events are free
Even those outside the path of the total eclipse are joining in the fun, spotlighting partial eclipses or sharing the main event on big screens. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles holds a public viewing for the partial eclipse from 9 a.m. to noon.