Heartland cities begin planning for 2017 total solar eclipse - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland cities begin planning for 2017 total solar eclipse

Southern Illinois leaders and officials gather to discuss planning for next year's solar eclipse event. (SOURCE: Rae Daniel/KFVS) Southern Illinois leaders and officials gather to discuss planning for next year's solar eclipse event. (SOURCE: Rae Daniel/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

It's may still be a year away, but some cities in the Heartland aren't wasting any time getting ready for the total solar eclipse making its appearance in August 2017!

The City of Perryville will be hosting an event in honor of the eclipse. Perryville city leaders say the city will be ready to greet astronomy fans and solar eclipse chasers, which could possibly double the county's population in one day. 

Preparations for the event include four days of festivals and events.

Beginning on Friday, August 18, 2017 the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a two-day festival, "Solarfest," which will be sponsored by Perry County Memorial Hospital. This four-day event will include food vendors, carnival, concerts, parade and festival vendors.

On Saturday, August 19, the city will host a mobile planetarium, which will be sponsored by Coldwell Banker Professional Associates and a Solar Chalk Festival.

On Sunday, August 20, attendees can explore Perry County by visiting museums, culture sites, natural areas, wineries or for the Perryville City Park for Mudfest, a muddy obstacle course. When the sun goes down on Sunday, there will be a SolarGlow 5K Run and Walk, with music and stargazing.

For the main event on Monday, attendees can view the Total Solar Eclipse at one of many viewing sites.

For more on the festivities to be held in Perryville, click here.

In Carbondale Illinois, several officials and agencies have already gathered to discuss Phase 1 of community planning and getting the city ready to welcome thousands of people from all around the world to witness the eclipse.

"We want to make sure everybody is on board with what's going to be happening in Carbondale, next year at this time, almost a year to this date," Task Force committee member, Diane Hood said. "All the events are going to be happening and we wanted to make sure that everybody who was involved with it and needs to be involved with it would be at this meeting today."

City leaders say the goal is to have a Master Eclipse Plan by the end of this year.

"We just need a lot of help in our planning and a lot of good minds to go to work on it," Carbondale Mayor, Mike Henry said. "We're going to do our best to make sure they have a great experience here."

Henry says the two key points right now for next year's event is signage and transportation.

"That's first and foremost in my mind and from there, we just have to do the planning and see what everybody comes up with," he said.

For more information about witnessing the total solar eclipse in Carbondale on August 21, 2017, you can click here.

For campus-related news on the total solar eclipse, you can click here.

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