Solar Eclipse - April 8, 2024
Make plans to spend time in Paducah to experience the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. On that date, millions of people across the United States will see a rare celestial event — a total eclipse of the Sun. Paducah enjoyed a total solar eclipse a few years ago – August 21, 2017. For 2024, Paducah is once again in a prime location for viewing the eclipse.
What is a Total Solar Eclipse
During a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely blocks the Sun causing daytime to become a deep twilight. The Sun's corona will shimmer in the darkened sky. The total eclipse is truly a once-in-a- lifetime event. According to NASA, any given point on the planet will only experience a total solar eclipse about once every 375 years.
Times and Duration for Paducah
The Monday, April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean.
In the United States, the narrow path of totality spans a diagonal line from Texas to Maine. Paducah is part of a narrow path in which the total solar eclipse will reach totality. The entire process from when the eclipse begins to when the moon does not block the sun takes more than two hours.
Only a sliver of Kentucky makes it into the path of totality. In Paducah, totality runs from 2 p.m. CDT to 2:02 p.m. CDT. Totality is short here because Paducah is on the edge of the path — the closer you are to the center of the path, the longer totality will last.
Here are the times for the eclipse on April 8, 2024, for Paducah:
- 12:42 p.m. eclipse begins
- 2:00 p.m. totality begins
- 2:02 p.m. totality ends
- 3:18 p.m. eclipse ends
Nearby Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Carbondale, Illinois, are points with great eclipse duration with totality for a little more than 4 minutes.
The only time you can look at the eclipse without eclipse glasses is during the short time of totality. Otherwise, you need eclipse glasses that are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. Please note that regular sunglasses are NOT safe to use.
X Marks the Spot Festival in Paducah - April 7 and 8
Beautiful Paducah and Paducah Main Street are organizing the X Marks the Spot: Paducah Eclipse Festival which will be April 7 and April 8 in downtown Paducah. This will be a street fair with a variety of vendors, programs, activities, and more.
- Sunday, April 7, 12 until 9 p.m.
- Monday, April 8, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The eclipse will bring an influx of visitors to this area. Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky counties are bracing for an influx of visitors starting about three days before the eclipse. With the increased number of visitors, there is potential for traffic congestion along the Interstate 24 and Interstate 69 corridors before, during and after the eclipse. We ask motorists to be patient and highly recommend that folks come early, stay put, and leave late to lessen the impact of anticipated traffic.
Celebratory Events and Lodging
Celebratory eclipse events are being planned by a variety of organizations. Many of them are listed through the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau in addition to a list of available lodging.
Free Local Viewing Options - City Parks
Paducah offers numerous parks so that you can sit back and enjoy the eclipse. Paducah has a 5 mile Greenway Trail that has good open areas between the downtown Convention Center and Noble Park. Popular parks that have open space and available parking are
- Bob Noble Park (has restrooms by skatepark and large playground on east side of lake)
- Kolb Park (has restrooms)
- Ohio River Boat Launch (no restrooms)
- Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park (has restrooms)
- Riverfront and nearby Schultz Park (has restrooms at Jefferson and Water Street)
- Robert Coleman Park (has restrooms)
- Stuart Nelson Park (has port-a-potties)
Recommendations and Safety Reminders
- Choose a specific place to watch the eclipse. Do not stop along area highways - you can be issued a citation for impeding traffic. Parking along the shoulder or right-of-way creates a number of safety hazards.
- Be prepared for traffic delays. Thousands of visitors may create traffic gridlock at some critical intersections and interchanges, particularly along the I-24 corridor. Also, heavy traffic may hinder the ability of emergency agencies to respond.
- Be patient as you are likely to encounter slow-moving traffic at some point during your visit.
- Be prepared for possible lines at fuel pumps.
- Be prepared to have limited cell phone service. Heavy cell and data traffic may cause cell systems to have delays. If your group is traveling in several vehicles consider communicating with two-way radios as cell service near the total eclipse corridor may be limited due to heavy demand.
- Restroom facilities will be at a premium. Pick a viewing location with appropriate facilities.
- Bring an ample supply of food and water for the duration of your planned stay. Restaurants and grocery stores may experience long lines.
- Have a specific place to stay - Either a hotel room or appropriate campsite. Please note that camping in City of Paducah parks is NOT permitted.
- Bring sunscreen, insect repellant, and first aid items.
- Be prepared for the weather.