Casper, Wyoming; a city just a bit smaller than the capital of the state, Cheyenne, with about 60,000 residents, is hosting the Wyoming Eclipse Festival for the next few days leading up to the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017.
If you don’t already have reservations for a hotel in or near Casper (such as at Glen Rock) you will probably not be seeing the eclipse from Casper. If you do want to drive up to Casper on “the day”, it would be best to leave extremely early in the morning from whatever location you are staying at, because most people will probably leave it until just an hour or so before “the time” and be caught on the roads.
That won’t necessarily be a hardship – you can see totality for several miles surrounding Casper – but chances are you won’t have a porta potty nearby or a comfortable place to sit and view the eclipse. But hopefully you will have your Eclipse glasses. They are essential. Sunglasses will not do the job, you must have eclipse glasses!
But for those people fortunate enough to have reservations in Casper, here’s a list of the activities going on at the Wyoming Eclipse Festival.
The Wyoming Eclipse Festival has worked to keep visitors to Casper well aware of these events – and we’re sharing the information they’ve provided on their website.
The total solar eclipse will begin in Casper at 11:42 am mountain time, and be over 2 minutes later. But the partial eclipse will have begun an hour earlier, and it will take another hour before the moon ceases to eclipse the sun at any point.
The website for the Wyoming Eclipse Festival is: http://eclipsecasper.com/
August 16, 2017, Wednesday
Taking place on the Parkway Plaza in Casper from 9 am to 6 pm. There will be vendors and exhibits open to the public.
Here’s the official website for the Astrocon. https://astrocon2017.astroleague.org/
And here’s their logo:
There are a few other events taking place on this day such as Behind the Scenes Distillery Tours at Backwards Distilling Company, Historic Wyoming Tours from AdventureWest, and the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum will also be open and ready for guests.
August 17, 2017, Thursday
More historic things going on, such as Covered Wagon Train Treks and Pony Express Rides, from Historic Trails West. The Natrona County Library will have exhibits. The AstroCon continues.
The Casper Planetarium will have special shows called, “The Sun Revealed” and “Heart of the Sun.”
Here’s their official website: Casperplanetarium.com
August 18, 2017, Friday
AstroCon continues, as does the shows at the Casper Planetarium and other events going on around town such as at the Fort Caspar Museum (yes, it is spelled Caspar), and the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.
There will also be an All Day Downtown Festival, running from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. There’ll be downtown shopping, a Yellowstone Garage Music Fest, and Farmers’ Markets. Exhibits will be at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, the Bishop House and the Science Zone as well.
Eastbridge Mall will be having an Eclipse Fest from 10 am to 10 pm, and there’s a Green Acres Corn Maze you might want to check out.
From 1 to 3 pm there will be a Listen and Learn “Eclipse in Motion” luncheon seminar at the Fairgrounds Agricultural Building. Dr. Dale M. Sides will be presenting a “Godly and Positive eclipse experience.”
There’s also going to be an AAPG Astrogeology Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Field Seminar, with two astronauts on hand, Jack Schmitt and Jim Reilly – they’ll be talking about the challenges of a manned mission to Mars, and the hope of returning to the Moon. (This is not a free event, if you haven’t registered you’re probably out of luck. It’s not for lay people either, but for scientists, geologists and the like.)
The Machine Performs Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It starts at 7 pm at Mike Lansing Fields (and costs $35 if you buy tickets before August 17, $45 at the gate.)
There’s also a Sand Bar Murder Mystery Tour, which starts at 8 pm at the Casper City Hall. It’s a “five block guided walking tour taking you back to the 1920s and 1930s in an area of town that was nationally known as the Sand Bar, where participants will attempt to solve the murder of “Shorty” by interviewing a gambler, a bootlegger, a prostitute, an vigilante and a crazed lover. Costs $25 per person. Put on by the Casper Theater Company.
August 19, 2017, Saturday
The Pluto Run 10K race takes place starting at 7:30 am at the Bart Rea Learning Circle at Amoco Park.
Exhibits and events continue such as the Covered Wagon Train Treks and Pony Express Rides, at Natrona Public Library and Fort Caspar Museum, the Caspar Planetarium and AstroCon.
There’ll be a Johnson County War Tour from Hoofprints of the Past, events at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, a Wyoming Photo Fest at Wyoming Camera Outfitters, and the All Day Downtown Festival continues, as does the Eastbridge Mall Eclipse Fest and the Green Acres Corn Maze.
There will also be a LMTD Eclipse Skate Jam from 10 am to 5 pm at the Skate Park. Also Riverfest and the Great Duck Derby at Mike Lansing Fields.
Stage III Community Theatre presents an Escape Room: Escape from Hades’ Throne Room. It takes place 4 times a day. Cost is $20.
Stage III will also be performing Prometheus. Doesn’t this sound like a cool event?
Prometheus is a re-telling of the ancient story of the Titan god who gave the gift of fire to the human race. Written and directed by William Conte, Prometheus is a sprawling epic that begins with the origins of the universe and concludes in the present day. It will be staged outdoors in the back lot behind Stage III Community Theatre as a contemporary urban ritual in the style of the “Theatre of the Poor.” On Monday, August 21, there will be a special performance in which Prometheus’s theft of fire from the sun coincides with the moment of the total solar eclipse. This unique theatrical event has no parallel in the history of the theatre. It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both actors and audience to participate in an unprecedented performance that unites one of humanity’s greatest legends with a celestial event that has fascinated people for thousands of years. Don’t miss this extraordinary theatre experience!
- Admission: $10/person (includes free eclipse glasses on 8/21)
- Thursday | 17th @ 7:00 pm
- Saturday | 19th @ 7:00 pm
- Sunday | 20th @ 7:00 pm
- Monday | 21st @ 10:00 am **Street fair vendors on-site for this performance
The Sand Bar Murder Mystery Tour continues as well.
August 20, 2017, Sunday
All events mentioned previously continue. There’ll be a Veterans Park Crafts Fair at Veterans Park, things will be going on at David Street Station, there will be Food + Fun at First United Methodist Church, the Uprising Festival which is a Christian music festival, and the CWFR presents the Sankey Rodeo Eclipse Rough Stock Event at the Natrona County Fair Association form 3 pm to 6 pm. There’ll be “bulls, broncs and barrel racing.”
An all day event at Historic Trails West will be a Special Eclipse Overnight Wagon Train.
Close Encounters of the Symphonic Kind takes place from 5:30 to 10 pm at the Washington Park Bandshell. $27.50, or $80 for a family pass (2 adults and up to 3 kids under the age of 18. Kids under 10 free).
Ira Flatow: Science is Sexy keynote speech
Given at Casper College’s Wheeler Concert Hall. THIS EVENT SOLD OUT.
Ira Flatow is host of NPR’s Science Friday.
August 21, 2017, Monday. THE DAY OF THE 2-MINUTE NIGHT
all beginning early in the morning and continuing to mid-afternoon
- Cornerstone Eclipse Viewing Party at Cornerstone Church
- Solabration on the Circle at Bart Rea Learning Circle
- Eclipse for a Cause at Highland Park Community Church
- Hogadon Basin Ski Area Viewing
- Natrona County High School Concessions Fundraiser
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Viewing
- Sleep Inn Veiewing
- Central Wyoming Fairgrounds Viewing
- Caspar Events Center
- Covered Wagon Train Treks and Pony Express Rides
- The Natrona County Library
- Rock the Rooftop Viewing at the Wyoming Medical Center
- Solar Eclipse Scramble – Golf Tournament at the Casper Municipal Golf Course
- The Historic Bishop Home Viewing
- Yellowstone Garage Music Fest continues
- Fort Casper Museum
- Pontoon Eclipse Experience at Okie Beach Campground
- National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
- Sunless at Sunrise at the Sunrise Shopping Center
- Veterans Park Craft Fair continues, as does the All Day Downtown Festival and the Art 321, Casper Arts Guild (which has been going on for the last three days also)
- College Heights Baptist Church Viewing
- David Street Station
- Eclipse Watch Party at the Backwards Distilling Company
- Green Acres Corn Maze
- Stage III presents Prometheus
- Eagles Barbecue
- Pavilion Properties Viewing at Pavilion Properties
- Tate Pumphouse Trail Center
- The True Barn Loft
- Wyoming Contractors Regional Training Center
And in the afternoon and into the evening
- Tate Geological Museum at Casper College form 1 to 5
- The Science Zone from 2 to 5
- Music & Poetry Evening with Ethan Hopkins and Mike Shay from 7:30 to 9:30 at Metro Coffee Co.
Read more of Wyoming in Motion’s Great American Eclipse Articles