The Daily Gamecock

Guide to solar eclipse festivities

Monday, 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. and 10 p.m.

Cost: $10

This event will premiere a series of six short plays in honor of the solar eclipse crossing paths with Columbia. Cost includes 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

When: Friday, Aug. 18 to Sunday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to 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. Visitors will receive solar eclipse glasses.

Event: Arts & Draughts

Where: Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St, Columbia, SC

When: 7 to 11 p.m.

Cost: $9 ($5 for members)

The event includes live music, food and art activities.

Saturday, August 19:

Event: EclipseFest 2017

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

When: 8 to 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. Free solar eclipse glasses will be available.

Sunday, August 20:

Event: Total Eclipse: A Space Odyssey

Where: The Nickelodeon Theatre, 1607 Main Street, Columbia SC

When: 7 to 9:45 p.m.

Cost: $10

The Nick will be showing A Space Odyssey on the eve of the eclipse day. Free solar eclipse glasses will be provided.

Monday, August 21:

Event: iMAGINE STEM Festival of the Midlands

Where: Spirit Communications Park, 1640 Freed Street Columbia, SC

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Included in the price of a Fireflies game ticket

A ticket to the festival includes entry to the Columbia 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 Fireflies official website. Solar eclipse glasses will be provided for participants.

Event: Eclipse Viewing Stations

Where: Multiple locations on campus

When: 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. (eclipse is estimated to occur at roughly 2:41 p.m.)

Cost: None

Ten solar telescopes will be set up around campus. Participants are reminded to bring a pair of solar eclipse glasses for safety.

Event: Total Eclipse Tailgate at SC State Fair

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

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

Cost: Free admission/$5 parking per car

This event includes food, activities and free entertainment in addition to a nearly unobstructed view of the eclipse and a limited number of free solar eclipse glasses.

Event: Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival

Where: Historic Columbia Speedway, 2001 Charleston Highway, Cayce, SC

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

Cost: $10

A full day of live music, food trucks, festival activities and art complete with a outdoor pop-up movie and shade tents.


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