FAQ

FAQ: Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C.

Celebrate with 120+ events all weekend in the Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast

August 18-21, 2017

 

One of the Southeast’s most vibrant mid-sized cities, Columbia, S.C., is home to the longest total solar eclipse for a metro area on the East Coast and will host Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C., a long weekend of more than 120 eclipse-related festivals and events, from Aug. 18 to 21, 2017. Follow @TotalEclipseCAE and plan your Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. at http://www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com.

 

Greetings!

We’re so excited that you are going to experience the total solar eclipse in Columbia, S.C.! We’ve attempted to answer some of the questions we are asked most frequently, such as these:

 

  • Where should I go to watch the eclipse?
  • Where should I park?
  • Where should I stay?
  • How do I watch the eclipse safely?
  • Where can I get eclipse glasses?

 

We answer these questions and more, below!

 

 

Q: I live here. What do I need to know?

 

  1. We are welcoming more visitors from around the nation and the world to the Columbia, S.C., region than ever before. Eclipse events on this website have confirmed ticket sales from multiple countries, including England/the UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Italy and more, as well as more than 30 states. The world is coming to Columbia, S.C.!
  • It’s up to each of us to show visitors and each other plenty of kindness, patience and hospitality as we all attempt to find our perfect eclipse viewing scenario.

 

  1. Do your grocery shopping Fill up your car with gas before the weekend. Make sure you have plenty of the travel supplies listed below, including drinking water, just in case.

 

  1. Plan for significantly longer drive times around the region from Aug. 18-22, 2017. In congested areas, a drive that normally takes 5 minutes could take 30-45 minutes or more on eclipse day.
  • Want to get a sense of how many cars might be making their way into Columbia, S.C. for the eclipse? Eclipse expert Michael Zeiler, founder of the Great American Eclipse website (where you will find an array of fantastic eclipse maps and videos) worked up some stats – including a “Driveshed” map – that you’ll want to check out: https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/statistics/

 

 

Q: Can I watch the eclipse from my house?

 

A: Absolutely! If you live within the 70-mile wide path of totality, one of the best places to view the eclipse is from your yard with friends and family.

 

Just ask S.C. Adjutant General Robert Livingston, who noted recently, “Know what you’re going to do that time of day, and carry out that plan,” Livingston said. “Get with your family, get with your friends, and enjoy the event.”

 

The sun will be high in the sky, so even if you have a few trees in your yard you might still have a clear view. If you prefer to view the eclipse elsewhere, there are plenty of viewing locations suited for families, fun seekers and relaxation. Some of these are viewing events listed on our website: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/ 

 

For eclipse viewing times, you can use the interactive eclipse map here:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how

 

You can view a detailed map of the path of totality at:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/about/

 

 

TRAVEL

 

Q: How should I prepare for coming to Columbia, S.C. to view the total solar eclipse?

 

  1. Make an advance plan for where you will park, and if you are not sure yet where you will go, be sure to have the following in your vehicle on eclipse day whether or not you are a visitor:

 

  • Food
  • Water
  • Full tank of gas
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • First aid kit
  • Sun shade, umbrella or other shade device: It’s hot in South Carolina in the summer, y’all. Some weeks we’re blessed with 85-degree afternoons, and others we’re sweltering in 100-degree heat. Either way, it’s humid. Pack your shorts, your sundresses and your sunhats. (Luckily, air conditioning is a common amenity in South Carolina!)
  • Extra battery chargers for mobile devices and phones: Mobile networks might offer spotty service due to high usage. This could make your phone beg for mercy. Bring those portable chargers and extra cables.
  • Cooler with ice or ice packs: Did we mention that it’s warm here? It’s warm here.
  • Printed maps: Mobile data networks could be spotty due to high usage, so print out your maps and directions in case your GPS cannot connect.
  • Eclipse viewing glasses w/solar filter safety film: These are necessary for looking directly at the sun during the partial eclipse phases leading up to and following the darkness that falls during our 2.5 minutes of totality. The only time it is safe to look directly at the sun without a solar filter, even for a few seconds, is when darkness falls during totality. Permanent eye damage can result from looking straight at the sun for even a few seconds unless it is 100% blocked by the moon. Do not drive while wearing eclipse glasses; you only need glasses if you are looking directly at the sun.
  • Patience and a positive attitude J

 

Plan your trip here: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/plan-your-trip/

 

 

Q: How can I find out about traffic conditions in real time?

 

A: The South Carolina 511 website and app provide a great way to connect with up-to-date traffic information: http://www.511sc.org/

 

Did you know that http://www.511sc.org/ is equipped with live feeds from hundreds of traffic cameras around the state? True story.

 

Waze is a helpful, crowdsourced third-party traffic app, constantly updated with traffic conditions:

https://www.waze.com

 

 

Q. How much extra driving time should I plan for knowing that traffic will be congested on eclipse day and the days surrounding it?

 

A. Conservative estimates say that to drive five miles in congested areas could require up to 30-45 minutes or more. Columbia, S.C. is within a day’s driving distance of the entire Eastern Seaboard, and it is one of the few metro areas on the East Coast in the path of totality.

 

These “Driveshed” estimates are compelling: https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/statistics/

 

 

Q: Where should I go to watch the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017?

 

A. Almost the entire Midlands region surrounding the capital city of Columbia, S.C., is within the 70-mile wide path of totality.

 

There are a wide variety of eclipse viewing events you can attend! See the “Events” section below.

 

Find more details about each event on our Events page: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/ 

 

If you prefer not to attend an eclipse viewing event, you may wish to consider locations for safe viewing that provide access to parking, bathrooms and water such as selected parks, recreation areas and shopping centers. Many residents are planning eclipse viewing parties at their homes.

 

Do not stop on the side of the highway, on the side of the road, or on a bridge to view the eclipse. See below for more safety information.

 

 

Q: Are there any forms of alternative transportation (i.e. public transportation, Uber, Lyft, etc.)?

 

A: Yes! A few of the transportation services available include taxis (such as Checker Yellow), Uber and Lyft, rental vehicles, city bus lines and shuttle services.

 

For more information on alternative forms of transportation please visit this link: https://www.experiencecolumbiasc.com/visitor-info/transportation/

 

Buses

 

City bus routes can be found at:

http://catchthecomet.org/routes/

 

Uber & Lyft

 

Popular rideshare options for getting around Columbia include Uber and Lyft, both of which tend to have numerous drivers on duty during peak times:

 

Bicycles

 

Got a bicycle? Bring it! A bike can make a huge difference in your ability to cruise around town quickly.

 

If you get a flat or need a repair or a new helmet or lock while you’re in town, or if you just want to flat out buy or rent a bicycle, try Outspokin’ Bicycles on Devine St. and St. Andrews Rd. in Irmo, Summit Cycles on Two Notch in Northeast Columbia, Cycle Center in Five Points or the nonprofit, low-cost Cola Town Bike Collective in Rosewood near Owens Field.

 

For serious cyclists coming to town, try Spinlister for “AirBNB-style” bike rentals from private individuals.

 

 

Q. What airport do I choose?

 

A. Our airport code here in Columbia, S.C. is CAE, a 20-minute drive from downtown Columbia. CAE officials anticipate that arriving flights, normally 85% full in August, will be more than 90% full over the weekend and Monday, Aug. 21 and departing flights will be 100% full on Tues., Aug. 22, 2017.

 

Other airports within a 1-hour drive include Charlotte, NC (CLT), accessible via I-77 and Augusta, GA (AGS), accessible via I-20. Airports in Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C. (GSP) and Charleston, S.C. (CHS) are 1.5-2 hours away, both accessible via I-26. Each of these highways are expected to see major congestion in the days surrounding the eclipse.

 

 

PARKING

 

Q: Where can I park in downtown Columbia, S.C.?

 

A: There are a variety of public parking options including parking meters, paid garages and free parking near Downtown Columbia.

City of Columbia, S.C. Parking for 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Weekend

Bring cash for city garages!

The City of Columbia, S.C.’s Parking Services Division has announced upcoming parking options for the total solar eclipse weekend. The following parking decks will be open for the public Saturday, Aug. 19, Sunday, Aug. 20 and Monday, Aug. 21: Washington Street Deck, Taylor Street Deck, Lady Street Deck, Park Street Deck, Lincoln Street Deck and PJ Cannon

Event parking rates may apply for City parking decks during the total solar eclipse weekend, cash only.

The following City surface lots will be available for parking during the eclipse weekend: Sumter Street lot, Devine Street lot and Harden Street/Exxon lot. The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center lot will be available for parking only on Monday, August 21. All surface lots event parking rates may apply only on Monday, August 21, cash only. 

All on-street parking operations are business as normal SaturdaySunday and Monday. This includes complimentary weekend parking throughout the Main Street District and Vista areas. Five Points will be monitored as usual on Saturday.

Monthly account parkers will park as normal, however need to have their parking credential with them (access card/parking permit) otherwise event rates apply.

Clear signage will be located at all parking areas along with staffing.

Parking rate graphic

For additional information, please visit the City of Columbia website at columbiasc.net or contact Parking Services at 803-545-4015.

 

Want to pay for your parking meter via smartphone app?

Download the Passport Parking app and use it to pay for parking meters and selected parking lots around Columbia, S.C.!

 

Parking Map

A map of public parking garages near Downtown Columbia can be found here:

http://www.columbiasc.net/depts/pr/docs/eclipseparkingmap.pdf

 

Other Resources

There are also many privately-owned parking garages in Downtown Columbia with available public parking.

Parkopedia offers an intuitive map interface showing estimated fees for parking throughout the downtown area. This is a third-party site and this campaign cannot guarantee the accuracy of the info therein, but it’s pretty cool!

http://en.parkopedia.com/parking/columbia_sc/?arriving=201706071400&leaving=201706071600

 

 

Q: Where can I park on the University of South Carolina campus?

 

A: While much of the parking at UofSC is dedicated to permit parking for faculty, staff and students, there are public parking options available. Visitors, a.k.a. the public, will have access to campus parking options on the day of the eclipse–Monday, Aug. 21.

  • Bull St. Garage (Gate 3) hourly Parking 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. for $1 per hour, $15 for lost tickets.
  • Discovery Garage (Park St. entrance) hourly Parking 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. for $1 per hour, $15 for lost tickets.
  • Horizon Garage (second entrance off of Main St.) hourly Parking 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. for $1 per hour, $15 for lost tickets.
  • Pendleton St. Garage (levels 1a, 1b, 2a) campus metered parking 8 a.m. – 6p.m. metered rates.
  • Close-Hipp Lot (top level-parking only) campus metered parking 8 a.m. – 6p.m. metered rates.
  • College St. (1700 block) campus metered parking campus metered parking 8 a.m. – 6p.m. metered rates.
  • Capstone and Columbia Hall (on Barnwell St.) campus metered parking 8 a.m. – 6p.m. metered rates.
  • Sumter St. Garage (top level-parking only) campus metered parking 8 a.m. – 6p.m. metered rates.

 

View the UofSC campus map, including parking garages designated “P.”

http://www.sc.edu/visit/map/

 

Read more about parking at UofSC: http://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/parking/parking/index.php

 

 

  1. Where else can I park to watch the eclipse?

 

  1. A number of eclipse event venues have a high volume of parking spaces for guests, while availability lasts. Fees may apply. Definitely buy tickets/parking passes in advance, as many events are expected to sell out as eclipse day nears.

 

  • Total Eclipse Tailgate at the South Carolina State Fair
  • Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival at the Historic Speedway in Cayce, S.C.
  • Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Sesquicentennial State Park
  • Eclipse Extravaganza at Saluda Shoals Park
  • Total Eclipse of the Park ballgame w/Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park
  • MOONDOGGLED! An Eclipsing Battle of the Bands at Doko Meadows Park in Blythewood, S.C.
  • Total Eclipse Viewing on the “Centerline” at Lexington County Blowfish Stadium
  • Yonder Field Solar Eclipse Festival in Bowman, S.C.

 

Find more details about eclipse events on our Events page, where you can filter results by price, day, interest and more: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/ 

 

 

LODGING

 

Q: Where can I stay when I come to the Columbia, S.C. area?

 

A. While many of the region’s 120+ hotels (encompassing roughly 11,600 rooms) are sold out or can only release rooms via phone inquiry, vacation rentals are a terrific option.

 

Check AirBNB or visit VRBO/Homeaway for vacation rental home and apartment listings in the Columbia, S.C. region! New listings are added daily by locals who are opening their homes to offer visitors the gracious, Southern hospitality for which Columbia, S.C. is known.

 

Hotel occupancy levels in the Columbia, S.C. area as of early August 2017:

  • 18: 52% occupancy
  • 19: 88% occupancy
  • 20: 100% occupancy
  • 21: 100% occupancy

 

More information on hotels that are close to Downtown Columbia can be found here: https://www.experiencecolumbiasc.com/hotels/

 

Q: Can I bring my RV or camp anywhere in or around Columbia, S.C.?

 

A: While Sesquicentennial State Park and Dreher Island State Park are sold out on the days immediately surrounding the eclipse, there are options that may remain.

 

The S.C. State Fairgrounds is hosting the Total Eclipse Tailgate event, allowing access to RV parking and camping from August 19 to August 22, as well as 4,000 tailgate party parking spots on eclipse day proper.

 

More information about RV parking at the S.C. State Fair grounds can be found here:

https://www.scstatefair.org/total-eclipse-parking

 

 

Yonder Field in Bowman, S.C., one hour southeast of Columbia, is hosting a large festival on Aug. 21 with live music and plentiful primitive camping with room for RVs Aug. 20-22:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/yonder-field-eclipse/

 

Learn more about camping in the Columbia, S.C. area: https://www.experiencecolumbiasc.com/hotels/camping/

 

 

EVENTS

 

Q: Which events are best for viewing the eclipse?

 

A: Use the “Show Filters” feature on our Events page and choose “Monday” in the “Day” box and/or click “Eclipse Viewing Event” in the Category box to find eclipse viewing events on Monday Aug. 21.

 

Here are the events categorized as “eclipse viewing events”:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/events/category/eclipse-viewing-event/

 

Q: Which events are family-friendly?

 

A: Almost all of the Total Eclipse Weekend events are family-friendly! Many events will have games, food, refreshments, music, dancing and much more for the whole family to enjoy! To find family-friendly events and information, check out our filtered list:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/events/category/kid-friendly/

 

 

Q: Which events are free to attend?

 

A: Visit our list of free events here:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/?action=tribe_photo&tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=photo&tribe_cost=0-0&tribe_cost=0-0

 

Q: Which events are large-scale viewing events?

 

A: Across the long weekend of 120+ events, there are roughly 25 events which can accommodate crowds of 3,000 to 10,000 guests and 35 events that can accommodate 500 to 3,000 guests.

 

On eclipse day, Aug. 21, the larger scale events are as follows:

 

  • Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival at the historic Speedway in Cayce (12-15 min. from downtown Columbia)
  • Benedict College Total Solar Eclipse Experience: Featuring the Solar Games (downtown Columbia)
  • Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Sesquicentennial State Park (20-25 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Total Eclipse Tailgate at the South Carolina State Fair (5 min from downtown Columbia)
  • MOONDOGGLED! An Eclipsing Battle of the Bands at Doko Meadows Park in Blythewood, S.C. (30 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Solar 17 at Lake Murray (30 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Riverfront Park Eclipse Viewing (downtown Columbia)
  • Owens Field Park Eclipse Viewing (7 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Finlay Park Eclipse Viewing (downtown Columbia)
  • Southeast Park Eclipse Viewing (20-25 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Drew Park Eclipse Viewing (downtown Columbia)
  • Solar Fest West at the West Columbia Riverwalk & Amphitheater (right across the river from downtown Columbia)
  • Newberry EclipseFest (60 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Visit Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (8-10 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Eclipse Extravaganza at Saluda Shoals Park (20 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Total Eclipse of the Park with Columbia Fireflies Baseball at Spirit Communications Park in the BullStreet Neighborhood (downtown Columbia)
  • SOLD OUT – Solar Eclipse Wine & Viewing Party at Enoree River Winery (45-60 min from downtown Columbia)
  • SOLD OUT – Historic Eclipse in the Gardens at the Robert Mills House (downtown Columbia)
  • Total Eclipse Viewing on the “Centerline” at Lexington County Blowfish Stadium (30 min from downtown Columbia)
  • Free Viewing Event at Boyd Plaza on Main Street (downtown Columbia)
  • SOLD OUT ON MONDAY – The Grape Eclipse Festival at Mercer House Winery
  • Eclipse RV Parking at SC State Fairgrounds (5 min from downtown Columbia)
  • SOLD OUT – Solar Eclipse Day at the South Carolina State Museum (downtown Columbia)
  • Yonder Field Solar Eclipse Festival in Bowman, S.C. (60 min. from downtown Columbia)

 

Find more details about each event, and filter by interest such as “outdoor,” “live entertainment,” “food and drink,” and more on our Events page: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/ 

 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Q: Are there any safety resources of which I should be aware?

 

A: Certainly! Safety is one of the biggest concerns during the eclipse, especially optical safety. State and local law enforcement agencies have been planning for months for the eclipse and have plans in place to ensure a smooth experience for visitors and residents alike.

 

Find eclipse safety and logistics info from the City of Columbia, S.C. government here: http://www.columbiasc.net/pr/eclipse-columbia

 

Read up on where Columbia Police Department officers will be stationed: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article168264217.html 

 

Report unscrupulous business practices to the S.C. Dept. of Consumer Affairs: 800-922-1594

 

Below is an excerpt from the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD)’s total eclipse safety tips:

http://scemd.org/totaleclipse

 

FOR RESIDENTS:

  • Start planning now for where you will go to view the eclipse and make sure you’re prepared (bottled water, sunscreen, protective eyewear like eclipse viewing glasses.)
  • Once you get to your eclipse event, stay there until well after it’s over.
  • Even if you do not plan to participate in any eclipse-related activities, expect heavy traffic and congested, busy roadways in much of South Carolina.
  • Fill your car up with gas and buy groceries for the weekend before it begins.
  • Be aware of school and office closings and make arrangements accordingly.

 

FOR VISITORS:

  • Follow the guidance of local public safety officials and event coordinators. County emergency managers, local police and firefighters know their communities and how best to direct you where you would like to go.
  • If you are driving during the eclipse, do not stop your vehicle along interstates or roadways.
  • August in South Carolina means it will be hot. Be prepared for extreme heat.
  • Take time to become familiar with South Carolina’s emergency plans.
  • Call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergency situations only.
  • Make sure family members or friends back home know your schedule and when you’re expected to return.

 

If you are in the City of Columbia, call 803-545-3300 for non life-threatening concerns.

Q. Will the streetlights in Columbia, S.C. operate differently during the eclipse?

 

A. Yes and no! There are multiple types of street lights in the City of Columbia, some operated by power company SCE&G, and some operated by the City of Columbia. Some are on sunset/sunrise timers, and some operate on light sensors. Some are LEDs that turn on quickly, while others are high-pressure sodium lights that take awhile to turn on. The lights will not be programmed to function differently than normal. Some may come on when darkness falls during totality, and some may not. It will depend on the type of lighting where you are located.

 

ECLIPSE VIEWING SAFETY AND GLASSES

 

Q: How do I safely view a total solar eclipse?

 

A. Anyone planning to witness the total solar eclipse needs certified protective glasses with a special safety film, a.k.a. a solar filter, to view the partial eclipse leading up to and following the total eclipse. Permanent eye damage including burned retinas can result from looking at the uneclipsed sun for even a few seconds without a solar filter. Viewers in the Columbia, S.C., area will want to remove their eclipse glasses when the sky goes dark during totality at roughly 2:41:51 p.m., then replace them roughly 2.5 minutes later when daylight returns. To look directly at the sun when the sky is bright, eclipse glasses must be worn.

 

You can find helpful viewing safety information from NASA here:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

 

Check out our Eclipse Glasses page: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/glasses/

 

Free Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. eclipse glasses will be distributed to eclipse event guests by many of the event hosts who have listed their events at www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/events  thanks to a sponsorship by the City of Columbia, S.C.

 

 

Q: Which events will be giving out or selling eclipse glasses to guests?

 

A. The City of Columbia, S.C., is enabling the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. campaign to provide 100,000 free pairs of certified eclipse safety glasses, which will be distributed via the majority of the 120+ local eclipse events listed at http://www.totaleclipseweekendcolumbiasc.com. Each event listing notes whether free eclipse glasses will be available for guests.

 

View our list of events with eclipse glasses here: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/glasses/events-with-free-eclipse-glasses/

 

 

Q: Where can I get eclipse glasses if I’m not going to one of those events, or if I just want to be extra prepared?

 

A: Eclipse glasses are being sold and given away as part of a deal by many retail establishments. View our running list of locations that are known to have eclipse glasses here: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/glasses/

 

 

Q: Can my pets watch the eclipse?

 

A: You can bring leashed, well-behaved pets to certain events such as “The Grape Eclipse” 4-Day Weekend at Mercer Winery, the public viewing events at City of Columbia Parks, and more; however, it is recommended to leave pets at home during most eclipse viewing events.

 

Please note that it is possible that pets will be easily frightened during the eclipse, due to the strange, unfamiliar nature of the celestial event coupled with the pressures of large crowds of people and potentially other animals.

 

Note: Unless your pets regularly look directly at the sun, in which case they would need eclipse glasses every day, they do not need to wear eclipse glasses. Glasses are only necessary if you plan to look directly up at the sun and watch it as it travels through and out of partial eclipse phases to reach totality.

 

For more information about pets during the eclipse, you can visit:

http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/faq.htm

 

 

ECLIPSE FACTS

 

Q: What is a solar eclipse?

 

A: A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the Sun, causing the moon to temporarily cast its shadow on Earth. During a total solar eclipse, the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, causing darkness to fall, creating unbelievable effects in the sky. It will appear as if day has turned to night then back again in a matter of minutes. The minutes leading up to and preceding the eclipse will also offer an excellent opportunity to see partial eclipses– when the moon only covers part of the sun.

 

On August 21, a 70-mile wide swath of twilight-like darkness will engulf the Midlands region for a period ranging from 2.5 minutes to 2 minutes and 36 seconds as the moon’s shadow passes over the state of South Carolina at a speed of 1,500 to 1,700 miles per hour. 30 counties in S.C. are within the path of totality.

 

To learn more about total solar eclipses, please visit:

 

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/about/

 

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

 

Q: When will the eclipse occur?

 

A: Date: August 21, 2017

 

Key Times:

  • 1:13 p.m. – Partial eclipse begins
  • 2:41:51 p.m. – At the S.C. State House at Gervais and Assembly, totality will begin at 2:41:51 p.m. and end at 2:44:20 p.m.
  • 4:06 p.m. – Partial eclipse is over

 

Check your exact time of totality and view a countdown clock at http://www.eclipsecountdown.com

 

 

Q: What is the path of totality?

 

A: During a total solar eclipse, the moon appears to completely cover the Sun, blocking its light, simulating darkness in the middle of the afternoon and causing rare, awe-inspiring light effects to arc through the sky from around the corona of the Sun.

 

The corona is only visible during a total solar eclipse. Only those in the “path of totality” will have the extremely rare, awe-inspiring experience of witnessing a 100% total eclipse.

 

For a detailed map and more about the path of totality, visit:

http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/about/

 

 

Q: How long is totality?

 

A: The longest totality on the East Coast for a metropolitan area is in the greater Columbia, S.C., area, at 2 minutes and 36 seconds of totality. This is only a few seconds less than the national maximum for this eclipse.

 

 

Q: Why is Columbia, S.C., a Top Destination for Viewing?

A:

  • The New York Times, the UK’s Telegraph, USA Today, Fodor’s Travel, Today.com, Forbes, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Orbitz, Expedia and more have covered Columbia, S.C., some naming the region as one of the best places to watch the eclipse because of its lengthy duration of “totality.”
  • Columbia, S.C., has the longest totality on the East Coast for a metro area, at 2 minutes and 36 seconds. (The longest in the country is 2 min. 41 sec. in the central U.S.)
  • Travelers from Europe have already booked their trips to the area to witness the eclipse.
  • Columbia, S.C., is the third largest city in the U.S. to be on the center line of totality.
  • Columbia, S.C., is the largest city in South Carolina with the longest period of totality.
    • Columbia: range is from 2 min. 30 sec. to 2 min. 36 sec., depending on your location within the metro area | Charleston: 1 min. 30 sec. | Greenville: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • NASA estimates that the entire state of S.C. could see 1 million visitors if the weather is clear
  • C. is 1 of only 10 states through which the center line of totality passes.
    • Being on the center line is the most important for viewing the longest totality.

 

 

Q: Why is This Total Solar Eclipse So Important?

A:

  • First transcontinental total solar eclipse in 99 years; the last one to cross the U.S. coast to coast was in 1918. (The 1918 total solar eclipse was not visible from Columbia, South Carolina.)
  • First total solar eclipse in the continental US since 1979, visible from only five states in the Northwest United States (38 years ago). There was a total eclipse over Hawaii in 1991 and the last total solar eclipse over South Carolina was visible only from the coastal region in 1970.
  • Projected to be the most viewed total eclipse in history
    • Access for millions of people via technology, social media, highway accessibility, etc.
    • An unforgettable experience for which people travel globally
  • The next time a total solar eclipse will be visible from the greater Columbia, S.C., area is 2078.
  • The path of totality is only 70 miles wide, and the speed of the moon’s shadow will range from 1500 mph to 1700 mph as it crosses the nation.
  • 30 counties in South Carolina are within the path of totality.
  • At the S.C. State House at Gervais and Assembly, totality will begin at 2:41:51 p.m. and end at 2:44:20 p.m. Check your exact time of totality at http://www.eclipsecountdown.com.

Q. What is the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. campaign?

 

 A. Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. is a regional tourism campaign that was founded to create economic impact in the Midlands by inspiring local groups to host eclipse events and amplifying their efforts with a national public relations and marketing campaign, raising awareness of the Columbia, S.C. area as a vibrant, authentic destination filled with cool things to do all year round.

 

The steering committee for Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. includes Experience Columbia, SC; the City of Columbia, S.C.; Capital City Lake Murray Country; the South Carolina State Museum (S.C.’s Solar Eclipse Headquarters for education and training); the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team; and One Columbia for Arts & History.

 

Major sponsorship is provided by the City of Columbia, S.C., with support from the City of Cayce, S.C. and Richland County, S.C. Sponsorship opportunities are available for branded presence in this campaign via the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. website: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/

 

 

Q: Is Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. an event?

 

A: No, the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. campaign is not hosting a specific event. Instead, this tourism marketing campaign is promoting more than 120 eclipse-related events that are being hosted by independent event organizers, organizations, businesses and attractions across the region.

 

About Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C.

One of the Southeast’s most vibrant mid-sized cities, Columbia, S.C., is home to the longest total solar eclipse for a metro area on the East Coast and will host Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C., a long weekend of more than 120 eclipse-related festivals and events, from Aug. 18 to 21, 2017. At 2:41 p.m. on Monday, August 21, 2017, viewers in the greater Columbia, S.C., area will experience up to 2 minutes and 36 seconds of darkness in the middle of the afternoon. NASA estimates that South Carolina could see an influx of up to 1 million visitors to witness the U.S.’ first transcontinental total solar eclipse in 99 years. The Columbia, S.C., region’s long weekend of 120+ eclipse events includes a variety of large and small festivals; kid-friendly/family activities; food & drink parties; outdoor river and lake adventures; education, science & history events; art, film & music happenings and more. Dubbed the “Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast,” Columbia, S.C., has been named a top U.S. viewing city, with coverage by the New York Times, USA Today, Buzzfeed, Newsweek, Fodor’s Travel, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, the UK’s Telegraph, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and others. Follow @TotalEclipseCAE and plan your Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. at http://www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com

 

About the Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. Campaign

Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C. is a regional tourism campaign that was founded to create economic impact in the Midlands by inspiring local groups to host eclipse events and amplifying their efforts with a national public relations and marketing campaign, raising awareness of the Columbia, S.C. area as a vibrant, authentic destination filled with cool things to do all year round.

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/totaleclipsecae  | Twitter and Instagram: @TotalEclipseCAE

Hashtags: #TotalEclipseCAE | #RealColumbiaSC