Carbondale City Council discusses alcohol, camping for eclipse

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The City of Carbondale continues to make changes for the more than 50,000 people expected to visit for the 2017 total solar eclipse.

The city intends to alter liquor laws for the downtown region in hopes of accommodating the crowds.

If approved, a new ordinance would allow open containers in the area, exclusively during eclipse weekend, and excluding glass containers.

According to Tuesday's council meeting agenda, city leaders expect most weekend-long festivities for the eclipse to take place in what most locals refer to as "The Strip" on northbound US 51.

The ordinance would be limited to that area.

Local business owners and residents have high hopes for the change.

"I think that would be a great opportunity to experiment," Underground Barrel Room and Grill owner T.J. Martin said. "There's a lot of places that have this all the time, and this is our chance to try it out."

Some residents said the idea could set an example for visitors that weekend.

"This is a new event that's never happened before… it can go both ways… really bad and really well," SIU student Erica Caviero said.

Another ordinance discussed Tuesday would turn public parks within the city into a campground for the weekend.

A number of area hotels and campgrounds in the Carbondale area have already been booked solid for several months.

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