Eclipse Information

What is an eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby obscuring the view of the Sun from a small part of the Earth.

Cape Girardeau is in a prime location for totality, as Cape Girardeau will have over 4 minutes of darkness during the eclipse!

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT.

Upcoming Solar Eclipses

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, and Monday, April 8, 2024, North America will experience two solar eclipses. The October 14th solar eclipse will be a “partial eclipse” for Missouri, and a good chance to practice for the April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse. On April 8, 2024, portions of Southeast Missouri will experience more than four minutes of “totality”, nearly double the length of totality of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse with all of Missouri experiencing a “partial eclipse”.

October 14, 2023 Solar Eclipse

The October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse will be visible in Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Sadly, Missouri is not in the direct path of the annular eclipse and will experience a “partial eclipse” instead.  But the event will be important to Missouri, serving as a warm-up event for the April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse. Eclipse chasers will need to go through all the planning steps needed for a total solar eclipse, and have all the equipment in hand.

April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse

It’s been about 4 years since the spectacular total solar eclipse of 2017 that swept from Oregon, across the United States, through the middle of Missouri, on to South Carolina, and out into the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first total solar eclipse to touch the contiguous 48 states in 38 years, and the first since 1918 to go from coast to coast.

Remember? The weather was clear for most in the path of totality, and millions of people looked to the skies to witness the moon creep across and cover the sun. We witnessed the bright flash of the diamond ring as the sun sank into darkness, and we observed the glowing streamers of the sun’s outer atmosphere. Yes, it got dark. Animals became restless and changed their behaviors. Birds went to roost, and insects sang. But it wasn’t what most of us had imagined, it was different, and it was better. Words and predictions cannot convey the feeling of a total solar eclipse.

On April 8, 2024, Missouri will once again be in the path of totality, which will cut across the Southeast part of the state, through such towns as West Plains, Poplar Bluff, and Cape Girardeau. This time the sun’s shadow will start in Mexico and sweep northeast, entering Texas, moving across the Heartland through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois, then on through Indiana, Ohio, and up into the northeast, completing its journey in Canada. This time the path of totality will be wider, the duration of totality will be longer, and the number of people residing within the band of totality will be nearly three times as great as in 2017.

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Act fast to secure a stay for the April 2024 Solar Eclipse as options are booking quickly! Cape Girardeau is home to multiple options like camping at one of our campgrounds, renting a home for a short stay, or booking a hotel room for your lodging needs

Click here to review your options!

April 2024 Local Eclipse Events

VisitCape Sportsplex Watch Party

On April 8th, 2024, VisitCape will be hosting a free event for the public from 10am until 2:30pm at the Sportsplex! The Cape Girardeau SportsPlex is located at 2526 Jim Drury Way, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

We will have music, food trucks and vendors, kids activities, and giveaways. We hope to see you there!

Southeast Missouri State University Event

The event will be the culmination of Southeast’s year-long 150th anniversary celebration! We will have plenty of activities and events throughout campus for our students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport

Festivities include:

“Fly In” specials on fuel prices to pilots, Sugar Chic Creamery, BBQ from Pilot House, music, stilt walker, face painting, static astronauts for photo ops, free snacks & water, and free protective eclipse glasses & t-shirts! (FLY IN VIEWING ONLY)

Arts Council of Southeast Missouri

Everyone Belongs Under the Sun
The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is partnering with Southside Farms to host an Eclipse Watch Party, as we welcome visitors to the grand opening of a site-specific art installation entitled Now and Then. Professor Henry Dean of the Savannah College of Art & Design is installing his artwork nationwide, choosing locations along the path of totality. Cape Girardeau has been chosen as the emblem of his whole project. Additionally, students from across the region will contribute pieces that will serve to beautify the garden and other spaces in South Cape. Stay tuned for more details!

The Dark of the Sun: Eclipse at Fort D

Watch the eclipse at Fort D Historic Site on April 8, 2024. The grounds will be open from noon to 4 pm. Visitors should bring their own chairs and protective eye equipment. The cannon will fire at the height of the eclipse!

Eclipse Festival at Benton Speedway

Celebrate the solar eclipse with us on April 6th, 2024 at 1pm to April 8th, 2024 at 5pm . Camping, Carnival, Music, activities and more all weekend. Vendors welcome. Reserve your camping spot and or vendor booth selection at