HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The Evansville region will experience a total solar eclipse in less than one year. But what events are planned on the date of the eclipse in the city? How will I know where I can get the best view of the eclipse? And how many people are expected to come into Evansville for this unique viewing experience?

I asked these questions and more to Amber Phillips of Visit Evansville, to find out how Evansville residents can prepare for the April 8 2024 eclipse.

How many people will come to Evansville for the eclipse?

The website greatamericaneclipse.com forecasts between 145,000 to 556,000 people traveling to Indiana to experience the event. Amber Phillips says Visit Evansville is predicting 50,000 to 80,000 traveling to the Evansville region. It is estimated the region could withstand 800,000 people without major density issues, though it is noted it is unlikely there would be that many visitors.

What plans will be in place to help accommodate the arrivals as smoothly as possible?

Phillips explains most of the Eclipse Committee groups like Community Engagement, Lodging & Accommodations and Public Safety are collectively tackling this task. The committee i also recommending a 2-3 night minimum accommodation stay. Visit Evansville anticipates $7.7 million of economic impact in the Evansville region that weekend.

What sort of events are planned in the city?

Most events are “to be determined” at the moment, according to Phillips. However, Phillips noted an eclipse themed game from the Evansville Thunderbolts, scientific lectures leading up to the event at UE and USI and an eclipse exhibit opening at the Evansville Museum in August of 2023.

What locations will be available for the best viewing opportunity?

Phillips says the sun will be in the exact same position on September 4, 2023 at 2 p.m. as it will be during the eclipse on April 8, 2024.

“This is a great time for a “dress rehearsal” to see what your view will look like to consider what is the “best” viewing opportunity,” said Phillips.

She also listed some preliminary public watch sites, including Riverside Drive, the LST-325 lawn, Angel Mounds, Burdette Park, Wesselman Park, Audubon Park and Deaconess Sports Park.

Will businesses downtown be closed on the day of the eclipse?

Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District will have a solid open/closed list “closer to winter”.

What impact did the 2017 eclipse have on planning events for the 2024 eclipse? What mistakes were made or lessons were learned?

“Past community eclipse planners have shared the importance of ordering solar glasses early from reputable suppliers,” said Phillips. “Prices rise as demand increases … many vendors sell out months before the eclipse.”

Phillips says that eclipse planners share they wish they had more time to plan ahead for events, and that the 2017 eclipse gives a talking point to show the significance and economic impact of the event happening in the Evansville region.