Organizations and businesses are urged not to be left in the dark when it comes to planning for 100,000 potential visitors next spring.

Wayne County Eclipse Task Force and Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau are collaborating with Indiana University East to present an information session about opportunities related to the April 2024 total solar eclipse. 

Logo for eclipse event

Some events already tentatively being planned around the county include an outdoor interactive spacewalk, an after-dark glow party, a street fair, public stargazing, planetarium shows, astronomy talks, candlelight tours and North Star programs, plein air artists painting night scenes, music and theater performances, moonlight shopping, a solar eclipse trail passport program offering themed treats, and a celebration with arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, and food trucks.  

The upcoming information session will be from 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, July 19, in Vivian Auditorium at IU East’s Whitewater Hall, 2325 Chester Blvd., Richmond.  

This gathering is geared for business/restaurant owners and representatives of attractions, governmental entities and community organizations.  

The task force and tourism bureau want to help those mentioned above to prepare for special events and ensure they have enough inventory and have planned for safety concerns and additional logistics involved with potential crowds. 

Those who can’t attend in person may attend online through Zoom. 

Advance registration is encouraged for either option at

Next April 8, Richmond/Wayne County will experience nearly four minutes of complete darkness during a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse. 

Based on tourist numbers from comparable prime viewing spots during a 2017 eclipse, Wayne County is expecting as many as 100,000 visitors that weekend. 

For several months, local officials and volunteers have been discussing related public safety concerns as well as potential activities to entertain and/or educate large numbers of tourists and interested local residents. 

The July 19 meeting will offer updates on what’s already in the works, resources, opportunities to ask questions and show how those interested can get involved. 

For more information, contact the tourism bureau at 765-935-8687. 

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A version of this article appeared in the July 12 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.