Photo: Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Ways to celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse

On August 21, a solar eclipse will plunge us into darkness for about two and a half minutes.  Columbia is situated on the path of the eclipse in such a way that we will experience totality longer than any other place on the East Coast. 

With this in mind, the city is preparing for a rush of visitors from all over the country to witness the eclipse. Here’s a rundown of events around Columbia so that you know what’s going on and can maximize this monumental occasion — what will likely be (for most of us) a once in a lifetime experience.


Thursday, August 17:

Event: Syzygy: The Solar Eclipse Plays

Where: Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main St. Columbia, SC

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $15

This event will premier a series of six short plays in honor of the solar eclipse crossing paths with Columbia. Costs include entry into the show and a reception with the playwrights from 9 to 10 pm.


Friday, August 18:

Event: Pre-Eclipse Weekend at the South Carolina State Museum

Where: South Carolina State Museum

301 Gervais St. Columbia, SC 29201

When: Friday, August, 18-Sunday, August 20, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cost: $15

Admission includes entry to both permanent exhibits and exhibits specific to space, astronomy and eclipses, as well as access to the Telescope Gallery and Boeing Observatory. You will receive solar eclipse glasses.


Event: Arts & Draughts

Where: Columbia Museum of Art

1515 Main St, Columbia, SC

When: 7-11 p.m.

Cost: $9 ($5 for members)

The event includes live music, food and art activities.


Event: Public Lecture, Dr. Sarbani Basu

Where: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 101

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: None

Dr. Basu is a professor at Yale University. She is chair of Yale’s the Department of Astronomy.


Saturday, August 19:

Event: EclipseFest 2017

Where: Music Farm Columbia, 1022 Senate St, Columbia, SC

When: 8-11 p.m.

Cost: $10

A night of rock tributes to set the tone for the eclipse. You can get tickets from TicketFly or the Music Farm box office.


Sunday, August 20:

Event: Total Eclipse: A Space Odyssey

Where: The Nickelodeon Theatre

When: 6-8:45 p.m.

Cost: $10

The Nick will be showing A Space Odyssey on the eve of the eclipse day.


Event: Summer’s End Solar Run

Where: Saluda Shoals Park

When: 6-9 p.m.

Cost: $30 ($5 if you do not participate in the run)

This 5k run/walk includes food, a park pass and a t-shirt.


Monday August 21:

Event: iMAGINE STEM Festival of the Midlands

Where: Spirit Communications Park

When: 10 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Cost: Varies

A ticket to the festival includes entry to the Carolina Fireflies game, which will be briefly suspended as the eclipse passes in a “Total Eclipse of the Park.” Tickets for the STEM festival as well as the game can be found on the Carolina Fireflies official website.


Event: Public Lecture: “Laying the God Particle to Rest,” Dr. Craig Roberts

Where: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 101

When: 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Craig Roberts is a Professor and Senior Physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory.


Event: Eclipse Viewing Stations

Where: multiple locations on campus 

When: During eclipse (between 1:13 and 4:06 p.m.)

Cost: None

Ten solar telescopes will be set up around campus; each location will provide a pair of safety glasses to viewers.


Event: Total Eclipse Tailgate at SC State Fair

Where: The South Carolina State Fair, Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Blvd

Columbia, SC 29201

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: Free admission/$5 parking per car


Event: Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival

Where: Historic Columbia Speedway, 2001 Charleston Hwy. Cayce, SC

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: $10

A full day of music, food, drinks and art. Viewing glasses included.


Event: Eclipse on the Congaree River

Where: Congaree River, Cayce, SC

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $99

Kayak trip from Cayce to Sandy Run. Includes a viewing of the eclipse, lunch, drinks and solar glasses.



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