Local Planning Continues, For the Solar Eclipse

BEATRICE – Gage County officials today determined that the county courthouse will remain open on August 21st, the day of the solar eclipse.  But, individual elected office holders will be given the option of whether their offices will be open to the public.

It’s difficult to pinpoint how many visitors will flock to the county for the eclipse, though Gage County Tourism Director Lisa Wiegand says there have been estimates of anywhere from 65,000, to 90,000 people.  She says the interest in the event remains high, with more than 100 inquiries per day, at the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce.

:26                  “going to happen”

Wiegand told the Gage County Board that she would not be surprised if the county sees visitors from all 50 states.   Campground spaces are being made available at the Gage County Fairgrounds…and the City of Beatrice is making public spaces available for people to view the eclipse.  The Homestead National Monument of America will be the center for many activities, as an official NASA viewing site.

Today, the Gage County Board approved limiting parking on some roads around the National Monument, west of Beatrice.   Parking will be allowed on one-side only, on parts of West Hoyt, Southwest 75th, and Southwest 79th.  Sheriff Millard Gustafson says temporary signs will be going up.

:19                  “no parking”

Gustafson says the concern is that allowing vehicles to park on both sides of roadways, could restrict access by emergency vehicles, should they need to respond to an area.   The temporary no parking signs would go up near the Homestead National Monument of America, on the Wednesday before the eclipse, and would be in place through Tuesday, the day after the event.

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