Austin/ Weather & Environment
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Published on February 03, 2024
Texas Gears Up for Total Solar Eclipse with Chili, Bull Riding, and Taxidermy at Local FestivalsSource: NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Texans are gearing up to celebrate the April 8 total solar eclipse with a series of unusual festivities that promise to make the rare celestial event a memorable one. As reported by KXAN, the Texclipse Music Fest in Junction is pulling out all the stops with a Texas-style bash that includes chili, bull riding, and taxidermy decor courtesy of a local artist. Meanwhile, the Texas Eclipse Festival near Austin dares to cater to a more adventurous crowd, with art exhibits, DJs, and even spa massages.

Despite the surge in interest, there are still opportunities for last-minute planners to witness the eclipse. According to a Wall Street Journal report, less popular viewing locations are still available, and tools like can help to quickly identify potential spots. With some Texas parks and accommodations already booked solid, eclipse enthusiasts are encouraged to consider north and central Texas towns for alternative festivities and viewing points.

For those determined to make the most of the just-under four-and-a-half-minute event, an eclipse-themed party may be the way to go. Eclipse-chaser and photographer Babak Tafreshi enthused about the collective experience, telling the Wall Street Journal, "If you're in a group, the reaction of people is just amazing, especially if they haven't seen a total eclipse before." Large-scale viewing parties are planned across North America, including at Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

However, eclipse-goers should be ready to change their plans in line with the weather. Senior meteorologist Mark Breen warned of possible historic cloud cover on April 8 in some areas, stressing the importance of a backup location. Fred Espenak, retired NASA astrophysicist and seasoned eclipse viewer, echoed this sentiment in the Wall Street Journal article, advising spectators to "have a Plan B" and to be prepared to relocate quickly if needed.

As the eclipse draws near, the unique festivals in Texas are just a slice of the eclipse mania sweeping across the continent. From taxidermy and massages to music and marriage vows. And for the procrastinators still without plans, there's still a chance to find a spot along the path of totality to experience what is promised to be a profound celestial spectacle.

Austin-Weather & Environment