There is no way to accurately tell what the size of the crowd will be in Franklin County to witness the eclipse this coming Monday, Aug. 21. The estimates vary quite a bit.

Special arrangements have been made for viewing in Franklin County towns since we are in the path of the eclipse, which will begin in what we’ve been advised is late in the 11 a.m. hour. The total solar eclipse will happen shortly after 1 p.m.  

The county is in the path, which is 70 miles wide. It will begin in Oregon and will last be seen in South Carolina. It will cross St. Louis but only parts of the south and west part of the city will get views of the total eclipse. It will be the first total eclipse in the United States in 38 years, and that’s why it is termed a historical event. It is being called the Great American Eclipse because it will be in totality across the United States and no other country.

Special inexpensive glasses are available from many sources in the area, including free glasses if a Missourian is purchased at our downtown office. Glasses are being sold at many places and free glasses also are being provided at many locations.

A total solar eclipse is when the moon completely blocks the sun. The sun’s corona will be visible. The total eclipse will last only about two minutes.

The eclipse is being commercialized as vendors will be set up at viewing locations, such as the fairgrounds in Washington and at a number of other locations in the county. St. Clair’s location on Interstate 44 is expected to be a popular viewing location. Parties and celebrations are being scheduled at locations along the path of the eclipse in Missouri.

Some schools have canceled classes and law enforcement is bracing for the crowds in the county. Traffic jams are a concern. But many people will view the eclipse from their backyards, or at locations not far from home or work.

The whole event will be over quickly so people will have to be alert.

Anticipation of the eclipse has been at a high pitch, and that’s why large crowds are expected to travel to good viewing locations.