Celebrate the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Celebrate the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse



Angela Sears at 402-471-7755, or angela.sears@nebraska.gov

Celebrate the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse 


LINCOLN, Neb. (July 18, 2017)—The Total Solar Eclipse is rapidly approaching. It will occur on Monday, August 21 just in time to get in one last summer vacation. Right now, many hotels and campsites within the path of totality are full but it is always a good idea to call and check as there may be cancellations. You can also check out hotels within a 30-60 minute drive from where you plan on viewing the eclipse. If you are planning to make the trip to one of the Nebraska communities that fall within the path of totality, you might want to check out some of the awesome events going on during the eclipse weekend. Experts are predicting that Nebraska will receive between 116,000 and 466,000 visitors to the state to witness this rare event. Many people think this is a conservative number and there will actually be more due to the probability of clear skies in Nebraska. With special guests and prominent scientists coming from all over the country to experience this once in a lifetime occurrence, Nebraska is the best place to be.

"This is an exciting time for Nebraska. Communities across the state have been working hard to ensure every visitor has an unforgettable eclipse experience. We hope that each new visitor will see how special Nebraska is." said John Ricks, Executive Director at the Nebraska Tourism Commission.

The Total Solar Eclipse will be a day to remember. Here is a list of just some of the many Nebraska communities that are putting on special events the weekend leading up to the eclipse.


Alliance, NE: Carhenge isn't the only thing that makes Alliance a unique place to visit; this town is also right in the middle of the eclipse path giving this town a full 2 minutes and 30 seconds of totality. To celebrate this, the people of Alliance are putting on events and activities all weekend long. There will be a pop up planetarium as well as educational seminars from Astronomers and researchers. Experience a celebration of Native American culture at the Native American Pow Wow. Listen to music in downtown Alliance. Participate in a Cowboy Fast Draw competition at Dobby's Frontier Town. Come Monday, be ready to "Watch the Sun go Dark" at either Carhenge, Laing Lake Park or the Airport Rodeo Grounds.* To find out more details about the events going on in Alliance, visit their eclipse website.

*These places will not provide special eclipse viewing glasses. They can be purchased through the Alliance Chamber of Commerce.


Beatrice, NE: With 2 minutes and 35 seconds of totality, Beatrice has prepared an entertaining lineup of events the weekend of the eclipse. Stock Car Racing will be located at the Gage County Fairgrounds on Friday and is sure to be a thrill to experience. Visit the Carnegie Building to see the Songs of the Moon exhibit which includes art the pays tribute to the moon. On Saturday, enjoy special showings of old horror movies at the fairgrounds. Beatrice has a few places to see the eclipse including the Gage County Fairgrounds, Hidden Acres Golf Course, Homestead National Monument and more. Homestead will host NASA scientists with special guest, Bill Nye. They will be studying the eclipse closely and teaching the public about it at the Education Center. For more details about the eclipse in Beatrice, visit their eclipse website.

Gering & Scottsbluff

Gering & Scottsbluff, NE: "Moon Over the Monument" packs endless events and activities all weekend long leading up to the eclipse. On Saturday, there will be a vintage motorcycle show in Scottsbluff, a car show in Gering, an “Eclipse” Beer and Wine Festival and laser show in Scottsbluff. Go to the “Moon Over the Monument” Welcome event in Gering on Sunday to see cultural dances and grab a bite to eat at a food truck. To wrap up an already wonderful weekend, join the Gering-Scottsbluff community at Landers Soccer Field, Five Rocks Amphitheater or Scotts Bluff National Monument to receive eclipse viewing glasses and a complimentary bottle of water to enjoy the 1 minute and 42 seconds of totality in Scottsbluff. To find more information check out the Visit Scottsbluff  and Visit Gering websites.

Grand Island

Grand Island, NE: Having a full 2 minutes and 35 seconds of totality makes Grand Island a prime spot to view the total solar eclipse. Enjoy weekend events like a Nebraska 150th birthday art show. Great food, refreshing drinks and entertaining music await you at the Craft Brew and Sausage Fest on Saturday. The Stuhr Museum is a great place to see the eclipse because of its wide open spaces and the fact that it is located close to the center line of the eclipse path. Other viewing spots include Cedar Hills Vineyard and Camp Augustine. More information about events in Grand Island and surrounding towns can be found on the Grand Island Visitors Bureau website.


Hastings, NE: SolFest is a multi-day festival leading up to the eclipse beginning Friday August 18 and ending the day of the eclipse, Monday, August 21. The weekend will include music, food and drinks. They are even bringing in a retired NASA Astronaut to speak at the SolFest Gala on Friday. Saturday features local Nebraska artists at The Good Living Tour in Brickyard Park. On Sunday, downtown Hastings hosts Art & Sol, an art festival with more local musicians and artists. All of this leads up to the big event on Monday. The Crane Trust, just minutes away, provides an open prairie that is perfect for viewing the entire 2 minutes and 33 seconds of totality. To learn more about SolFest and places to view to eclipse in Hastings visit the SolFest website


Kearney, NE: Enjoy a memorable night with NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke. He and his wife, who is a NASA Engineer, will have a meet and greet and will present all about space. Test your toughness with the Multi-Sport Trail Challenge which includes kayaking, dirt trail biking and a 5K race. Also, catch Chris Sayre perform at the Archway. Stay afterward for lunch from The Food Truck and some delicious root beer floats. The best places to see all 1 minute and 54 seconds of totality in Kearney are the UNK Watch Party, the Buffalo County Fairgrounds and the Archway. If you want the eclipse to last a little longer just drive 30 miles north to Ravenna, NE where totality will be 2 minutes and 35 seconds. For more places to see view the eclipse in and around Kearney, visit their website.


Lincoln, NE: Join the Saltdogs at Haymarket Park as they take on the SouthShore Gary Railcats. There will be interactive exhibits as well as free Eclipse-viewing glasses. If you don’t plan on going to the game there will still be a Science and Engineering Expo located right next to the stadium. Lincoln is packed with great hotels, restaurants and entertainment and is right on the edge of the path having 1 minute and 24 seconds of totality. For more information about the time the Eclipse begins and the events going on that weekend check out Lincoln's website

North Platte

North Platte, NE: Pals Brewing Company is hosting events all day in North Platte. A few of these events include "Moonmosas" and Yoga, a special tapping of "Midnight in the Daylight Stout", live music and games. North Platte will have 1 minute and 43 seconds of totality to enjoy. Other places to view the eclipse is the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, Lincoln County Historical Museum and Feather River Vineyards. North Platte is also a short distance from Tryon, NE, which will have 2 minutes and 34 seconds of totality. For more information about the events going on in North Platte and when totality will begin, check out Visit North Platte.

Safety First!

We all want to enjoy the eclipse but here are a few reminders before you head out on the 21st.

  1. ***WEAR YOUR ECLIPSE GLASSES*** Regular sunglasses just won’t cut it. Many of the official places hosting events will provide complimentary eclipse glasses but they will be limited so get there early or order your own pair beforehand.
  2. Don’t stop along the interstate or any roadway to view the eclipse – please exit to a safe location or designated viewing area. Plan to get where you’re going to view the eclipse well in advance – traffic volumes may be significantly heavier than normal. Traffic volumes are really unknown and lots of variables like weather changes may come into play on August 21.
  3. Please make sure to yield to emergency response law enforcement vehicles as they respond as they need to any emergencies or traffic problems. Also, Be aware of pedestrians on smaller local roads – people may be crossing areas where they normally don’t.
  4. Once the eclipse is over, prepare for higher than normal traffic volumes.  Pay attention, be aware and put on your seat belt. Don’t drink and drive.
  5. Keep up to date on traffic by following @nebraska511, using Nebraska511 app, or by using Waze.
  6. It will be late August, which means it very well could be hot and dry.  Make sure you are prepared with supplies for high heat. Items like sunblock, bottled water and snacks are good to have on hand in your vehicle or in a backpack. 
  7. Remember that other people are there to witness this rare event as well. Please be courteous to others. Don’t ruin their experience with loud noises or bright lights.

Following these safety guidelines will help to ensure that you, and those around you, can properly witness the magic of a Total Solar Eclipse. 

More Information

For a more comprehensive list of communities celebrating the eclipse, visit neclipse17.com.
For expert information on travel and what to expect during the solar eclipse, see this article.


For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.



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