Jefferson City, Missouri: Where you will want to celebrate August 19-21, 2017

A total solar eclipse is an event that few have witnessed, yet it is the most dramatic celestial event you'llever see. It's a totally immersive event: during totality, with the Sun's brilliant disk fully covered by the moon, the sky turns dark (like very deep twilight) and the brightest planets and stars become visible. Animals become quiet, birds roost, and the temperature drops noticeably. During the eclipse, the path of totality will be 8,600 miles long but only about 70 wide. Remarkably, although it starts in the Pacific and ends in the Atlantic, the Moon's shadow passes over land only in the U.S. and Jefferson City, MO is one of the best places for viewing.


Join us for great entertainment, art and astronomy in Jefferson City, the state Capitol of Missouri. There will be an eclectic offering of both paid and free events ranging from a giant drum circle to concerts to lectures by a real-life astronaut. Our hotels are taking stand-by reservation and we have a few camp sites at ‘ground zero.

At a Glance…

Saturday, August 19 - Camping at Ground Zero, Hotter n Hell 5K fun run 9 am; Prison Tours (tickets), visit Jefferson City attractions; Carnival, Master Gardeners Garden Tours, Bicycle Pub Crawl 4 pm; Downtown Jefferson City Eclipse Street Party 6 - 9 pm; Crop Circle Corn Sunset Maze

Sunday, August 20 - Capital City Pedal Tours; Breakfast with an Astronaut 9:30 am (tickets); Prison Tours (tickets); Carnival, Master Gardeners Garden Tours; Crop Circle Corn Maze; Scholastic Education Series 10 - 4 pm, Free (various locations); NASA Traveling Exhibit, State Capitol 10 - 4 pm; NASA TV Dress Rehearsal; Total Eclipse of the Park, Riverside Park 10-8 pm; ET, the Movie; Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd Tribute band Interstellar Overdrive, Free concert on the Missouri State Capitol lawn - 8 pm; Late night telescope viewing

Monday, August 21 - Eclipse Gravel Ride, Total Eclipse of the Katy Trail Bike Ride; Carnival, Master Gardeners Garden Tours; Crop Circle Corn Maze; Scholastic Education Series - 10 am to 4 pm; Eastside Business Association Viewing & BBQ at Riverside Park 10 am-2 pm; Eclipse Festival, north Jefferson City, Missouri State Capitol events; 399th Army Band Orchestra; NASA Traveling Exhibit, State Capitol 10 - 4 pm; NASA TV live broadcast; 1:14 pm TOTAL ECLIPSE

Bike Friendly!

We encourage you to bring your bikes and take advantage of our fantastic two-wheel opportunities. North Jefferson City is home to the Katy Trail trail head, with picturesque rides in both directions. Pedestrians and bicyclists can safely cross the river via the Missouri River Pedestrian/Bike Bridge. (closed 8.21 12:30 to 1:30 pm)

This paved pathway is eight feet wide and includes two lookout points with a spectacular view of the Capitol and Jefferson City. The route allows easy access between the Noren river access park, the Katy Trail, the State Capital and downtown. There’s even a bike shop along the way. From there it’s easy biking to the historic Missouri State Penitentiary and events at Riverside Park.

In addition we have several greenways throughout the city and many other trail & paved rides for every skill level and distance. Talk advantage of 3 organized ride opportunities: Saturday, August 19 pub crawl, Sunday, August 20 city tours, Monday, August 21 gravel road ride. Viewing will be in multiple open locations throughout the city. Parking and shuttle service information to be distributed.

General Questions

  • Q: Who is invited to the eclipse activities in Jefferson City?
  • A: Everyone! There will be events and activities for the eclipse fanatic to the casual observer; science nerds to photography buffs, music lovers and spiritualists; every man, woman and child, local and visitors, are welcome to our community to share this celestial phenomenon in peace and harmony.
  • Q: What does it cost?
  • A: Most events are free to attend. Food, beverage and souvenirs will be available for purchase (mostly cash only). There is a $10 parking fee for the Eclipse Festival which allows you to ride the trolleys.
  • Q: Will I need cash?
  • A: Most vendors, parking, concessions will accept cash only.
  • Q: Will eclipse glasses be for sale?
  • A: Yes, while supplies last. They will be for sale in the information tents as well as the gift shop in the Capitol
  • Q: Can we tour the Capitol on Sunday or Monday?
  • A: Yes, guided tours are only at 11 and 1 pm but you're free to explore on your own anytime before 5 pm. Note there is only one entrance (under the carriage) that has access and you must pass through a metal detector so there may be a wait.
  • Q: Where should we park?
  • A: Parking is marked on event maps. Accessible parking is marked for the festival on Monday. For all else park in regularly marked spots.
  • Q: Will there be restrooms?
  • A: There will be a number of portable restrooms placed at each event.
  • Q: What do I do if I have an emergency or need law enforcement at any of the event locations?
  • A: Call 9-1-1 for emergencies and 573-634-6400 for non-emergencies. Find an event volunteer, law enforcement officer, fireman or other emergency services person, in the area.
  • Q: What will I need to know when calling for emergency services?
  • A: Know where you are! There are several different jurisdictions involved and the more exact your location and information is the better. If you do not know an address, make sure to give unique landmarks. This will save time, when deciding who needs to respond. You may be transferred to an adjoining county’s Communications Center, depending on your incident location. Be prepared to answer the same questions again. Give a good description of what is going on; answer all the questions asked and remain calm, which will help the Communications Operators get you help quickly.
  • Q: Can I bring special equipment (photography, tripods, telescopes, etc.)
  • A: Yes, of course. You may have to walk a bit with it to find your perfect spot so plan accordingly or purchase a parking pass for Monday in advance.
  • Q: Are the events 'pet friendly'? (well behaved, on a leash)
  • A: Most are. Downtown Saturday night is not.

Festival North Jefferson City Recreational Area

  • Q: Is there a special viewing spot for telescopes?
  • A: On Sunday there will be an area in the south east corner of the front lawn of the Capitol. On Monday, same spot and a special designate area in North Jeff for the festival.
  • Q: Will there be concessions?
  • A: Limited. The carnival will have concessions and there will be a beverage station and beer/wine garden
  • Q: Can we 'tailgate' or picnic?
  • A: For sure. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and whatever provisions you might need to sit back and enjoy the show. (No campfires are allowed).
  • Q: Can we fly a drone?
  • A: Absolutely NOT. This location is adjacent to the municipal airport. Flying a drone anywhere near airports is illegal and violators could face fines of up to $25,000 and criminal charges.
  • Q: Should we bring our bikes?
  • A: Yes, please! It's a great way to get around the 100+ acres that make up the North Jefferson City Recreational area. The Katy trail is a biking destination and Jefferson City pedestrian/ bicycle bridge makes it easy to hop over to see what's happening at the Capitol. Note the bridge will be closed on 8.21 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

Firework Safety: Fireworks are not permitted inside the City of Jefferson. Discharging fireworks is a violation of city code.

Campfire Safety: Campfires must be contained inside a fire ring of some type, metal or rock fire is allowed. Campfires must be attended at all times. Seasoned fire wood is recommended and the only thing allowed to burn. Dispose of trash and other items properly.

Hydration: Make sure that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you drink a bottle of water in between drinks. Dehydration can be a serious issue and easily avoided.

Generator Safety/Carbon Monoxide: Make sure generators are properly functioning. Never use a generator inside a closed area. Leave any gas operated appliance or engine outside of campers, vehicles or trailers while in use. Carbon Monoxide detectors are recommended in all sleeping areas if gas appliances are being used.

FILL UP THE TANK Don’t get stuck running out of gas or looking for a gas station.

CELL SERVICE MAY BE SPOTTY Fireworks are not permitted inside the City of Jefferson. Discharging fireworks is a violation of city code.

BE PREPARED Take food, water, medicines, chargers or anything else you might need if you’re stranded in traffic. Have cash in case ATMs or credit card swipers are not available.

PLEASE BE PATIENT There will be traffic delays and lines at events. Just relax and plan for extra time. Stick around after the show and hit the highways after the peak period. Bring games/activities to keep everyone entertained.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY 911 or *55 from a cell phone may be overwhelmed with calls. Call the Jefferson City non-emergency number 573-634-6400 to report non-life threatening issues. No drones, no campfires, no fireworks, no alcohol carried in.

Most of our hotels are sold out on the 20th but some availability remains for surrounding dates. Check with individual properties for stand by lists and cancellations.

Reserved camping is still available in North Jefferson City overlooking the mighty-Mo and Missouri’s state capitol . Reserve direct by calling (573) 634-6482

Our restaurants are ready to welcome you to the capital city with a wide variety of tasty cuisine to tempt any pallet.

Tour the Missouri State Penitentiary

Decommissioned in 2004, the Missouri State Penitentiary was the oldest continually operating penitentiary west of the Mississippi. The prison was 100 years old when Alcatraz began taking inmates. When the prison opened in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo was going on in Texas and Andrew Jackson was in his second term. The tour showcases cells including those of famous inmates such as heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, who learned to box during his time in the big house, and James Earl Ray. Other stops on the tour are the gas chamber where 40 men and women were executed, several housing units and the upper yard. In 1967 the Missouri State Penitentiary was infamously named the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" by Time magazine because of the incredibly high number of serious assaults on the grounds between 1963 and 1964. Public history and paranormal tours showcase the prison's grisly past.

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Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau | 700 East Capitol Avenue } Jefferson City, MO 65101 } 573.632.2820