By Michele Owen—
MUNCIE, IN—On April 8, the City of Muncie hosted a press conference to share information about 2024’s Total Solar Eclipse. The eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, the first to reach Muncie in over 1,000 years. Another nearby total solar eclipse will not occur until 2099, and Muncie will not be in the path of totality.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” stated Mayor Dan Ridenour. “We are so excited to make the most of it.” Muncie’s Eclipse planning is modeled after Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which experienced totality in 2017. The rural community of about 30,000 people welcomed more than 117,000 visitors from 47 states and 25 countries, with an estimated economic impact of more than $28 million.
Muncie is determined to make the 2024 Eclipse an event to remember. The steering committee, comprised of Michele Owen (City of Muncie), Cheryl Crowder (Downtown Development Partnership), Trenton Bush (Muncie-Delaware County Visitors Bureau), Kirsten Novotny (Minnetrista), Matt Ruddick (Academy of Model Aeronautics), and Kelly Batchelor (Muncie Public Library) has worked with community partners to create a plan and a cohesive brand for the event.
“Everyone who has witnessed a total solar eclipse describes it as a magical experience,” commented Steering Committee Chair Owen. “The phrase ‘Magic in Muncie,’ stuck in my head, and then Kirsten and her colleague Natalie pointed out that Muncie used to be called Magic City.” Muncie was first called Magic City in the late 1880s, after the natural gas discovery launched Muncie to near-overnight prosperity. The steering committee worked with local artist Sam Chatwin of Fox and Sparrow Tattoo to create a one-of-a-kind Art Nouveau style logo for the event.
The Eclipse planning team will begin hosting Community Forums on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at Kennedy Library. The Community Forums are designed to help individuals, businesses, and neighborhoods make the most of the upcoming tourism boom, as well as provide information about safety and logistics. More information can be found at EclipseMuncie.com, or on the Total Eclipse of the Heartland Facebook page. Michele Owen can be contacted for interviews or more questions at (765) 702 – 0979.