With great anticipation, Missouri will experience another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Much like the Great American Eclipse in 2017 communities across the path are planning local events to promote what is unique, historical, and special about where they live within the path. This total solar eclipse will highlight many rural towns and cities located in the Ozarks of Missouri which is unique in its own right.
One such city is Perryville, Missouri which was also in the path of totality in 2017. Perry County documented visitors from thirty-six states and seventeen countries that traveled to their public viewing areas to witness the total solar eclipse and they are excited to welcome them back again in 2024. Perryville along with multiple other cities, towns, and communities have been working collectively to educate and inform planners through the Missouri Eclipse Taskforce. This group has been meeting monthly since 2022 in preparation for the upcoming eclipse concerning community planning in such areas as logistics, events, marketing, media, and more.
On July 22, 2023, the Missouri Eclipse Taskforce will held a state-wide Missouri Eclipse Expo in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to help planners, educators, and families both inside and outside the totality path to better understand the eclipse and to help their communities and neighborhoods to have the best possible eclipse experience. Although thousands are expected to seek locations within the path to view totality, the reality is that not everyone will be able to travel on April 8, 2024, and there are still fun and educational activities that those outside the path can do to have a memorable experience.
The Missouri Eclipse Expo will have a speaker’s series of nationally known eclipse experts. There will be interactive stations to have hands-on learning experiences, a giant earth globe, and various booths representing destinations across the path to find out more about local festivals, events, live entertainment, presentations, and the effects of nature during the eclipse. There will also be astronomical societies stationed outside the event center with solar telescopes engaging with attendees and sharing peeks of the largest star in our universe. There will also be a giant pair of oversized eclipse glasses as you enter to have some fun pictures taken and other cool things for the kids to see and do.
Perryville is once again using the eclipse event as a golden opportunity to promote the rich history and heritage of Perry County by encouraging eclipse chasers to come early and take advantage of extended hours of museums and cultural sites, to explore some of our natural areas and take part in our specially planned community events throughout the eclipse weekend. People from all over the globe will be traveling to rural communities to see this eclipse. Most will travel to places in Missouri that they would have never gone to before. Like the diamond ring and Bailey’s beads of a total solar eclipse Missouri’s history, heritage and natural areas are beautiful gems. Why just experience the diamond ring when we have so many other treasures in our Missouri communities to explore?