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The countdown to totality


The countdown is officially on for the Great North American Eclipse. On April 8th, the sun, moon, and earth will align perfectly for a Total Solar Eclipse, and Arkansas is the prime location to view it. The path of totality will stretch over 100 miles across 53 counties in the Natural States, including a handful of major cities in Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District: Texarkana, Russellville, and Murfreesboro. The Natural State offers many location options for observers to view the event, including right in my backyard —Hot Springs National Park—one of only two national parks in the county that fall in the path of totality.
For the last couple of years, state and federal agencies, law enforcement entities, and other local officials have been planning to ensure the Natural State is prepared for the influx of visitors joining our great state to have a front-row seat for this exciting moment. The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism says this occasion has the potential to be one of the largest tourism events in our state’s history.
Several family-friendly events will be happening around the state, including concerts, festivals, and celebrity guest appearances – even NASA scientists and astronauts will be in Russellville to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Arkansans interested in experiencing the eclipse, whether from their backyard or one of our incredible parks, should obtain a pair of approved viewing glasses and visit arkansas.com/natural-sate/eclipse to make a plan and be prepared.
While the excitement of this phenomenon will bring many fun events and visitors, it may also present some challenges for locals. In the days leading up to and during the eclipse, you can expect heavy traffic and even roadway closures around the Hot Springs, Russellville, Texarkana, and Murfreesboro areas due to the influx of visitors. If you have appointments or meetings on the 8th, I encourage you to plan ahead as you may experience delays or need to take an alternative route to reach your destination. IDriveArkansas.com is an excellent resource for receiving up-to-date roadway information, including closures and delay times.