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Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

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Aug 2, 2017

Southern Illinois Takes Center Stage for Total Solar Eclipse August 21

CHICAGO – On August 21, as many as 200,000 people are expected to travel to southern Illinois to experience total darkness in the middle of the day during the first solar eclipse in nearly 40 years. NASA has identified the Carbondale area and village of Makanda Ill. as the location to view the eclipse’s greatest duration, up to 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds. The eclipse will happen at approximately 1:20pm CDT in southern Illinois, which is also in the central path of the next total solar eclipse in April 2024.

To celebrate this rare event, the Illinois Office of Tourism released Solar Eclipse trip ideas to encourage visitors to experience the best local flavors and hidden gems throughout the area. The trip ideas feature Illinois Made wineries, craft breweries, farm-to-table restaurants and other artisans located within a two-hour drive of Makanda and Carbondale.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to experience the eclipse in southern Illinois,” said Illinois Tourism Director Cory Jobe. “We’re proud to shine a spotlight on this part of our state and share the local experiences, encounters and escapes here that tourists can’t find anywhere else.”  

This total solar eclipse in southern Illinois is different from the partial eclipse much of the rest of the country will see. As the path of totality moves directly over Makanda and Carbondale, it will get dark enough for street lights to turn on, the temperature will drop and bright stars will be visible in the sky.

In Carbondale, Ill., more than 50,000 people will view the eclipse, while NASA streams the eclipse live around the world from Southern Illinois University’s Saluki Stadium.

As solar eclipse fever spreads across the country, there is only one place to experience the eclipse come August 21 – southern Illinois. Here are just a few of the exciting events planned: 

Moonstock Music Festival Watch Ozzy Osbourne perform “Bark at the Moon” when he headlines this four-day music festival at Walker’s Bluff Vineyard in Carterville, Ill. 

Solar Eclipse Paddle 2017 Paddle a canoe in total darkness through the ancient cypress swamp on the Cache River

Bald Knob Cross Eclipse Day  View the total solar eclipse from Bald Knob Cross, the only 360-degree, unobstructed viewing location for this rare event.

Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium Grab your eclipse glasses and join NASA Eclipse 2017, the Adler Planetarium of Chicago and the Louisiana Space Consortium for a major eclipse viewing event at Southern Illinois University.

To view the Solar Eclipse Illinois Made trip ideas click here.



The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents. 

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