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Communities in Central Indiana are actively preparing for the total solar eclipse of 2024



Carmel, Indiana – It’s still more than a year away but right now, central Indiana is getting ready for the path of a total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024.

The last total solar eclipse in the US was in august of 2017. Places in states like Nebraska, Oregon, Missouri, and South Carolina experienced a bump in tourism that August and had parties to see the eclipse.

Local communities in central Indiana are already starting the planning process to prepare for a similar influx of eclipse chasers.

On Monday evening, the Carmel Clay School board unanimously voted to change their spring break next year so that students won’t return until the day after the eclipse to avoid the expected crowds.

Keith Turner is the planetarium director at Carmel Clay Schools and traveled to Kentucky to see it firsthand back in 2017.

“It’s just so otherworldly,” Turner said. “As you get near totality the temperature drops 10 to 20 degrees, birds and bugs are confused, it gets really dark.“

Turner showed us what Hoosiers will see next April when the eclipse path goes straight through Indiana.

He said the crowds it’s expected to bring with it are almost as amazing as the eclipse itself.

“We are expecting in the greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, 500 thousand to two million extra people,” Turner said.

That number of people overwhelmed many communities in 2017, including the one Turner traveled to.

“Even though there were signs put up that said ‘don’t stop on the interstate for the eclipse’ people just pulled off on the interstate and stopped,” Turner said.

That’s why preparations are underway right now and changes are already being made.

“We are covering every detail from do lights need to stay on when it’s the total eclipse to how many glasses do we need to order,” Sarah Buckner with Visit Hamilton County said.

Visit Hamilton County has formed an organizing committee for the event. Since the eclipse falls on a Monday, they’re hoping tourists will make a weekend out of it and pack local hotels.

They’re already scouting sites for watch parties.

“Places like Conner Prairie, Grand Park, Ruoff Music Center,” Buckner said.

Turner is just hoping that on April 8, 2024, the weather will look a lot different than it did on Monday.

“If you want to see it live, with your own eyeballs, this will be on your last chance through Central Indiana,” Turner said.

The next total solar eclipse to come through the Hoosier state will not be until 2153.

Back in 2017, the glasses became hard to find so officials suggested getting a pair sooner rather than later.