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Great American Eclipse: How Three Destinations Are Celebrating the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse

People looking up at the solar eclipse with eclipse glasses on. Photo Credit Cliff Ritchey and Visit Indy

On April 8, millions of people across Mexico, Canada and the U.S. will be able to witness something that many consider to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” event.  

A total solar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon where the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, causing the moon to “eclipse” the sun from view for anywhere between a few seconds to minutes. While solar eclipses are not terribly uncommon, it is uncommon for them to be total eclipses and for such eclipses to occur over large population areas, with many noting that this type of eclipse may not be visible in the U.S. for at least the next 20 years.  

When this year’s total eclipse happens, three U.S cities will be in the “path of totality,” meaning anyone watching the eclipse in those areas will be able to experience totality. This has caused a massive increase in tourism for Cleveland, Dallas, and Indianapolis. All three of the destinations are planning events and celebrations surrounding the marquee astronomical event.  

If you or your group will be in one of those cities on April 8, here are some events and places to check out.


Total Eclipse Festival

The total eclipse in Cleveland will begin around 3:13 p.m. and the city will experience around four minutes of darkness. Part of the city’s celebrations will include a weekend-long “Total Eclipse Festival” hosted by the Great Lakes Science Center and the NASA Glenn Research Center. The festival will be part of NASA TV’s live coverage of the total solar eclipse and will include the “NASA Village” immersive experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience a supersonic flight, walk on Mars or visit the International Space Station all thanks to virtual and augmented reality simulations. 

Solar Eclipse Watch Party at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Photo Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center
Solar Eclipse Watch Party at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Photo Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center

The festival will also feature performances from Karamu House Theatre and the Cleveland Orchestra, who will be hosting a concert on Sunday, April 7 and performing an “Out of this World” concert program. The concert will feature Mozart’s “Fourth Movement” from Symphony No. 41, Missy Mazzoli's “Sinfonia,” Debussy's “Clair de lune” from Suite Bergamasque (orchestrated by André Caplet) and “Beethoven's First Movement” from Symphony No. 5.  

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Cleveland Watch Parties

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the University Circle community will be co-hosting a community watch party for the total solar eclipse at the museum. The event will feature live music, hands-on activities and more as crowds gear up to watch the eclipse on April 8.  

There are also event activations in the nearby city of Avon Lake. In partnership with the Avon Lake City Schools, there will be an event at the Avon Lake High School Memorial Stadium during which attendees will be able to experience a live stream of the eclipse as it makes its way across the country. The event will also feature local astronomers and live music throughout the day, along with food trucks and a telescope observation area. Check out the Cleveland CVB website for more information on eclipse events in the city. 


Sun, Moon, and You

With Dallas being the largest city in the path of totality, there are many events and activities that visitors can experience. While some of the more popular activities are sold out, those visiting Dallas for the eclipse can make their way to the Dallas Cotton Bowl Stadium for a free eclipse event “Sun, Moon, and You,” featuring several booths, exhibits, speakers and activities all relating to the eclipse. The event will feature special guest Neil deGrasse Tyson, the PBS series Ready, Jet, Go! and experts from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA talking about the eclipse and giving more information about the sun and space weather.  

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2023 Annular Eclipse Watch Party at Perot Museum in Dallas. Photo Credit Tamytha Cameron and Visit Dallas
2023 Annular Eclipse Watch Party at Perot Museum in Dallas. Photo Credit Tamytha Cameron and Visit Dallas 

Downtown Dallas

Those in the heart of Dallas will have lots of eclipse activities to choose from throughout the weekend leading up to the solar event. Several hotels and event venues will be hosting eclipse events, including the AT&T Performing Arts center, the Omni Dallas Hotel, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the HALL Arts Hotel and more.  

The city will also be hosting a Video Art Night, Spring Solar Stroll, a Wellness Day with goat yoga and a solar city cycle, and the Downtown Dallas Arts Festival. It all culminates in a Solar Eclipse Watch Party in partnership with the Dallas Morning News on April 8. More information about eclipse events in Dallas can be found on Visit Dallas’ website.  


Lunacy! Solar Eclipse Festival

Hosted at the White River State Park in downtown Indy April 8, the Lunacy! Solar Eclipse Festival will feature over 20 food trucks and a signature food competition, yoga classes, tabata classes and a brass quintet performance from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The state park will host a weekend full of activities leading up to the eclipse, with the park itself being one of the ideal spots in the city to watch the solar event unfold.  

White River State Park. Photo Credit Visit Indy
White River State Park. Photo Credit: Visit Indy

NASA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Why not spend the day of the eclipse at the Racing Capital of the World? On April 8, Indy visitors can take a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to witness the eclipse and a live NASA broadcast, with NASA experts on-hand to answer any burning eclipse questions. Indy will be in the path of totality for around 3 minutes and 46 seconds at approximately 3 p.m. ET, with another one not being visible in Indianapolis until the year 2153.  

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Indiana State Museum Eclipse Watch Party. Photo Credit Emily Winship and Visit Indy
Indiana State Museum Eclipse Watch Party. Photo Credit Emily Winship and Visit Indy 

Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum will be hosting a variety of events on April 8 at different areas throughout Indiana. In Indianapolis, the museum will be hosting a Total Solar Eclipse Celebration where attendees will experience a day full of activities, live demonstrations, science experiments and more. Watch the eclipse on the front lawn or enjoy a live stream of the eclipse in the museum’s IMAX theater or auditorium.  

There will be other events hosted throughout Indiana for those unable to make it to the capital city. With events at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Nashville, Indiana; Whitewater Canal State Historic Site in Metamora; Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville; and more.  

There are many more places to celebrate the eclipse in Indianapolis. Check out Visit Indy’s website to find out more about the events happening in the “Crossroads of America.”  

Quick Tips for Watching the Eclipse

Wondering when and where the eclipse will occur? Check out this helpful map from NASA that shows both the path of the eclipse and the times at which it will be visible across the U.S.  

The path of totality and partial contours crossing the U.S. for the 2024 total solar eclipse occurring on April 8, 2024. Photo Credit NASA
The path of totality and partial contours crossing the U.S. for the 2024 total solar eclipse occurring on April 8, 2024. Photo Credit: NASA

But knowing when and where to watch is just part of the essential eclipse experience. It’s important to know how to engage with the eclipse, and especially doing so in a safe manner.  

Most of the destinations will be providing free eclipse glasses at events. Eclipse glasses are special eye protection that have a built-in solar filter to help block out the sun’s harmful rays. Looking at the eclipse with your eyes, camera lens or telescope without a solar filter can cause severe eye injury. Make sure that any eclipse event or celebration you attend has these eclipse glasses or else you won’t be able to look at the eclipse safely.  

Check out these other helpful tips from NASA that will help you have a safe and healthy eclipse viewing experience. 

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email