Austin/ Food & Drinks
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Published on February 28, 2024
Austin and Central Texas Ready for Cosmic Spectacle, Total Solar Eclipse on April 8 Draws Millions, Complete with Concerts, Hot Air Balloons, and Special BrewsSource: Unsplash / Joseph Corl

Central Texas residents and visitors are gearing up for a spectacular cosmic event on April 8, as a total solar eclipse will grace the skies with a rare celestial show, the likes haven't been seen since 2017 and won't be seen again until 2045. Austinites can expect total darkness at approximately 1:36 p.m., lasting a minute and 40 seconds, as reported by Austin Monthly. Hordes of eclipse chasers and over a million guests are anticipated to flock to the state to witness the moon completely obscure the sun.

With the event fast approaching, various venues across Central Texas are rolling up their sleeves to provide unforgettable viewing parties filled with distinct experiences; Fredericksburg is a hotspot with the Arch Ray Resort hosting a two-day concert featuring the Goo Goo Dolls, and Grapetown Vineyard offering hot air balloon rides with an eclipse view according to Eater Austin. Meanwhile, Kerrville's Kerrclipse Music Festival, aligning its annual folk fest with the eclipse, promises live tunes, art, camping, and educational science talks, rounding out a plethora of options where hospitality and astronomic enthusiasm collide.

Amidst the excitement, spectators must protect their eyes during the eclipse, and only glasses that conform to the ISO 12312-2 safety standard should be used, as regular sunglasses just won't cut, Austin Monthly advises. And for those looking to savor the moment with a local brew, Austin Beerworks, Zilker Brewing Company, and Meanwhile Brewing Co. are releasing a hazy IPA named "In the Path of Totality 1:36 pm," as well as hosting their respective watch parties.

For those without solid plans, various public spaces such as The Long Center in Austin are throwing open their lawns for the public to gather, offering free admission and live music to add to the experience—though attendees are encouraged to show up early given anticipation of high turnouts. The Central Library is also jumping on the bandwagon by featuring NASA exhibits and rooftop viewings; even local brewery events are unfolding where the community can come together, enjoy a cold one, and witness the daytime darkness as it unfolds, an occasion that merges brews, views, and an epic Texas-sized natural phenomenon.