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Hamilton County prepares for tourists, safety during 2024 solar eclipse

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Hamilton County will be in the path of totality when the solar eclipse happens in April 2024.

Local officials know the astronomical attraction will bring an influx of tourists, so they’re preparing to assure everyone stays safe and has fun during those few minutes of darkness.

The sky will begin to change around 1:50 p.m. April 8, 2024, and total darkness will start at 3:06 p.m. the same day.

Keith Turner, director of the the Carmel Clay Schools planetarium, called it a once-in-a-lifetime event. “It’s been over 800 years since there’s been a total solar eclipse come right through this part of Indiana. Having experienced the total solar eclipse in 2017, it’s life-changing. It’s amazing.”

Hamilton County will experience anywhere from 2 minutes, 50 seconds to 3 minutes, 38 seconds of total darkness.

Turner said, “When the disk of the sun is blocked out by the new moon you start to see the sun’s chromosphere show up, and it’s kind of a pinkish purplish color and, then eventually you’ll see the outer layer of the sun called the corona. It’s pretty amazing and spectacular.”

Turner recommends buying eclipse glasses now to make sure you have a pair before prices go up.

Conner Prairie, the living-history museum in Fishers, will offer age-appropriate programming for kids as well as a place to watch the eclipse. Holly Pasquinelli, senior manager of public relations and communications at the museum, said, “They’ll be thinking of all the different ways children learn and understand, and have some really fun learning opportunities for the kids so they can understand and really appreciate this.”

A quasi-governmental organization, Hamilton County Tourism is working on events for visitors and locals. Sarah Buckner, assistant director of community engagement for Hamilton County Tourism, said, “We have new people in the community shopping and eating and going to our hotels so it’s wonderful for our economy for people to visit from out of the area.”

Safety is a concern, so officials are working to create designated spots to watch and be safe in the dark. Buckner said, “We are in the process of working with some of our larger attractions just so we’re all on the same page as far as guidelines, so there are glasses there, there is parking.”

Anyone with eclipse-themed ideas can submit them to Hamilton County Tourism at

(Fact sheet from Hamilton County Tourism)