On Aug. 21, the United States will be able to view the solar eclipse for the first time since 1918 and Doniphan County is among the few counties in the state whose residents will be able to witness it in its totality.
Citizens throughout the county are preparing for an entire weekend of festivities to share this once-in-a lifetime event with visitors from all over the United States.
“An additional 2,000 people in the area.”
That’s the estimated number of visitor’s Doniphan County expects for the Eclipse In The Heartland event, according to Adrienne Korson, Doniphan County Director of Economic Development.
“People actually started calling in last summer wanting to come to Doniphan County to see the solar eclipse,” Korson said. “We’ve been planning for this event since then.”
In Elwood, citizens and visitors will gather in between the Dollar General and Zimmerman Motors on Roseport Road on the day of the eclipse.
“We chose this area because the Dollar General, El Canelo, and Trex Mart gas station are all in walking distance.” said City Council Member Dustin Robinson. “Also, Driftwood is just a couple of blocks away from this spot and is said to be one of the best viewing areas in the nation.”
The City of Elwood is selling T-shirts to commemorate the event. Hot dogs, chips, and water will provided as well. Parking is $10. Anyone willing to volunteer is encouraged to contact Elwood City Hall at (913) 365-6871.
Troy’s festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Doniphan County Courthouse Square. The evening will include live music by Doniphan County native Lisa Sholz followed by the High Strung Band from Holt, Mo., food vendors, historic walking tours and a 5K Glow Run.
On Monday, Troy will have watch parties, food vendors, and live music in the main square. Daniel Dominguez will host a total solar eclipse birthday party. The Black Out Bash will begin at 11 a.m.
“We want to emphasize to everyone who is coming to Troy the day of the eclipse that they should leave early and to stay on the main roads,” Korson said.
Highland will kick off Eclipse in the Heartland at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19 with a hog roast. This event is hosted by the Highland Fire Department and will be held at the Highland Community Building. Free will donations are accepted.
At 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20 at Minier Park, the city of Highland will have “Movie & Pizza in the Park.” Pizza, popcorn and drinks will be provided.
On Monday, Aug. 21, Highland Community College will welcome K-State’s Astronomy Class for a fascinating educational experience.
“We’re expecting perhaps seven buses to come in, classes were supposed to begin that day, but when we realized the number of people coming to town, the first day of class was moved to Tuesday,” said Dr. Craig Mosher, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Highland College. “We even had a lady call from Horton who can view the eclipse right from her home but said she wants to come just to be around people.”
The educational lecture will start at 11 a.m. and is open to all who would like to attend.
Beginning also at 11 a.m., Highland community festivities will include live music, food and craft vendors on Main Street and open access to the Midwest Tractor Museum.