THERE GOES THE SUN: TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE EVENTS IN KANSAS CITY
Kansas City welcomes an event of astronomical proportions this August. Visitors from all over the world will gather throughout the metro to view a total solar eclipse, the first of its kind to be visible in the continental United States since 1979. The cosmological event will occur shortly after 1 p.m. on Aug. 21, when the moon will completely block out the sun. Downtown KC and surrounding areas—all near or in the direct path of the eclipse—will go dark for about three minutes. Naturally, with an event as rare as this one, viewing parties are springing up across the region.
Here are some of the most noteworthy eclipse events in the metro:
MIDDLE OF IT ALL
St. Joseph is at the epicenter of eclipse mania thanks to its position inside the “path of totality”—or the path that will witness the darkest skies for the longest amount of time. Plan on huge crowds and events all across the city, including a special viewing party at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.
PLANETARIUM WATCH PARTY
Celebrate the momentous occasion at Union Station, one of KC’s most cherished institutions. Fit for the whole family, the watch party includes interactive programming, free entry into the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, special viewings, shows and more.
PARTY IN THE MARKET
Perfect for guests of all ages, take in the historic eclipse at The City Market, where you’ll be treated to complimentary solar sunglasses, a Pink Floyd tribute band (performing Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety), engaging performances and plenty more.
TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE FARM
Co-partnered with The Rieger, Green Dirt Farm will host its punnily-dubbed “Total Eclipse of the Farm” party the day of the big event. Tickets to the adults-only festival (which begins at 10:30 a.m.) include live music, unique performances, food from Chef Howard Hanna’s Rieger team, special viewing glasses and a shuttle ride out to the Weston farm.
MURALS, COFFEE AND MORE
East Crossroads is the place to be during this once-in-a-lifetime event. Witness as muralists from around the world transform the Crossroads Arts District with jaw-dropping street art, all to the backdrop of this summer’s most celestial celebration. Count on a special edition coffee blend from expert caffeine purveyor Thou Mayest, plus live music, screenings, food trucks and more during the weeks-long inaugural event.
ECLIPSE AT THE BALLPARK
Head to CommunityAmerica Ballpark out in KCK for a special viewing party at the home of amateur baseball team the Kansas City T-Bones. Food will be available for purchase while the first 200 guests receive free tickets to the game that night—a family-friendly opportunity not to be missed.
WHOLE WEEKEND OF FUN
Count on Excelsior Springs as your hub for total solar eclipse fun. The city will host several events all weekend leading up to the main event, including a barbecue festival, exhilarating airplane rides and flyovers, special presentations and a full day of fun in the charming community.
Spend the days leading up to the eclipse outdoors on Smithville Lake, where you can party on the beach during the weekend and choose between hiking, boating or a horseback camping experience to truly take in the monumental event.
Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Kansas City Parks with a one-of-a-kind solar event. Head to Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Hodge Park—located in the path of totality—and experience the eclipse surrounded by authentic 19thCentury buildings.
Red, white or pink, sip on samples of Vox Vineyard’s varietals while the day gets dark at the local winery’s watch party, an open house-style bash perfect for those of appropriate age.
EDUCATE AND WITNESS
Learn the ins and outs of the upcoming astronomical phenomenon before joining the viewing party a week later, all while enjoying locally made vino at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery.
FOOD TRUCK FRENZY
Make your way north of the water to Riverside, where you’ll find a morning yoga session, food truck fare, beer tastings, an obstacle course and more, all to revel in the century’s biggest cosmological event.
ECLIPSE & SIPS
An event this monumental deserves a full weekend of appreciation. Jowler Creek Winery’s Eclipse & Sips Festival abides. Get crafty by making your own wine glass, stargaze while you sip, watch classic movies, catch live bands and tons more.
POWER & LIGHT PATIO
Make your way to the Power & Light District for a special sushi and patio event at Drunken Fish. Count on an endless lunch buffet, complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and free protective eyewear with admission.
Whether you’re stuck at the office or plan to be cruising down a lazy river at an area waterpark, there are plenty of festive ways to commemorate this historic total solar eclipse, Kansas City-style.