Breaking News Bar

Major viewing sites on Aug. 21

  • This orange painted line, guarded zealously Saturday by Zeus, marks the line of eclipse totality in Makanda.

    This orange painted line, guarded zealously Saturday by Zeus, marks the line of eclipse totality in Makanda.
    Holly Kee photo

updated: 8/16/2017 10:35 AM

Saluki Stadium, Carbondale: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 31, Carbondale. Hosted by Planetary Radio's Mat Kaplan, programming by NASA EDGE, the NASA 2017 Eclipse Team, The Adler Planetarium of Chicago and the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium. Live eclipse video on the scoreboard; expert commentary; two high-altitude balloon launches from the field; performance by the Marching Salukis. Eclipse glasses provided. Tickets: $25 (some fees may apply); VIP suite packages available. Doors open at 9 a.m. (877) SALUKIS or Park at University Farms, west side of campus; take shuttle to Saluki Stadium/SIU Arena. $20/vehicle.

Cohen Complex, Chester: 3401-3545 Bodes Lane. Grounds open at 8 a.m. XMC Mobile DJ, arts and crafts sale, Ecliptic Chic, food vendors. (High Altitude Balloons) will track a weather balloon from Chester to over 100,000 feet, and have on-ground photography setups to show eclipse artifacts like shadow bands, The Diamond Ring and Bailey's Beads. Amateur astronomer James DeCamp will bring eclipse shades and 7x50 eclipse-safe binoculars to share, and will photograph the main event using a Celestron 8" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on an equatorial mount. Parking passes required to park. 10x10 reserved viewing spaces available with $40 VIP pass. Chester also is offering camping and viewing at Cole Memorial Park.

Crab Orchard Refuge, Marion: Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, 8588 Route 148, Marion. Grounds open at 8 a.m. No organized public events, just good viewing spots. Entry and boat launching fees will be waived, all pets must be leashed, no viewing equipment or chairs can be set up in the parking lot; commercial photography and videography requires a permit. (618) 997-3344;

Du Quoin State Fairgrounds: Aug. 21. Free bleacher seating available; lawn chairs, blankets encouraged. Food vendors open all day. 1,500-1,800 acres at fairgrounds provide excellent viewing with long sight lines. Camping also available at the fairgrounds, $25 a night.

Giant City State Park, 235 Giant City Road. Park hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. A variety of parking lots and designated viewing fields will be available, on a first-come basis. All are free and can be claimed no earlier than 8 a.m. Visitors can set up small canopies, lawn chairs, etc. around their vehicle. Additional parking is available along designated roadways throughout the park. Once visitors find their spot, they are asked to stay put for the duration, to minimize congestion. Camping is permitted in designated camp areas only. Roadside and off trail camping is strictly prohibited.

Rent One Park: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 21, 1000 Miners Drive, Marion. Hosted by the Southern Illinois Miners and Illinois 4-H. Youth hands-on activities with rockets, drones, robotics, virtual reality, 3-D printing, and environmental science. Concession stands open (no alcohol served). Tickets: $8-$15 (2 and under free); additional $5 to play laser tag and $3 for mini golf. Ticket includes a pair of eclipse safety glasses. Eclipse begins about 11:52 a.m. and ends around 2:47 p.m; a telescope will project the eclipse onto the video board in right-center field. Miners' special eclipse jerseys are for sale in the team store. Parking $5 per car or $10 per bus. No overnight parking will be allowed.

World Shooting and Recreational Complex: Aug. 21, 1 Main Event Lane #510, Sparta. 1,000 camping sites available over eclipse weekend, $25 a site. (618) 295-2700.

Other Carbondale sites: Carbondale Office of Tourism suggests these alternatives to Saluki Stadium. Southern Illinois University, 1263 Lincoln Drive; Shadow Fest, Washington Street at Route 13; Eclipse Marketplace, 509 S. University Ave.; Family Fun Zone, 120 N. Illinois Ave.; Attucks Park, 800 N. Wall St.; Turley Park, 1010 N. Glenview Drive; Parrish Park, 2500 W. Sunset Drive; Super Splash Park, 625 S. Lewis Lane; Evergreen Park, 1205 W. Pleasant Hill Road; Tatum Heights Park, 402 S. Cedarview St.; Brehm Preparatory School, 950 S. Brehm Lane; Castle Park, 31 Homewood Drive; Hickory Ridge Golf Course, 2727 Glenn Road. or call (618) 529-4451.

Makanda: The line of totality goes right through the middle of the boardwalk (you can't miss the painted orange line). There will be parking for 300 vehicles available. Free.

Arrowhead Lake Amphitheatre and Park: Opens at 8 a.m. Aug. 21, 1600 Petersen Ave., Johnston City. Vendors, food and drink, silent auction, Corn Hole tournament. Kids activities, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Terry Brooks Live DJ, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Eclipse, 11:52 a.m.-2:14 p.m. (totality at 1:20 p.m.). Free.

Search Carbondale Times