DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Hotel rooms are booking up or already sold out ahead of next April’s total solar eclipse, according to officials with the City of Dripping Springs. The total solar eclipse, which will occur on April 8, 2024, is one of two that’s path will move across Central Texas.
The second eclipse will occur on Oct. 14 of this year. That eclipse is an annular eclipse, which according to NASA, occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun during the furthest point of its orbit. It will not completely obscure the sun.
Austin will be on the edge of the eclipse, but not within the totality, where the eclipse is at its darkest. Fredericksburg will get the best views.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It only happens in the same area every 300 years. So for Dripping to be in the totality — this is huge,” said Lisa Sullivan, communications director with the City of Dripping Springs.
Last August, the city formed an Eclipse Committee to prepare for the event. Sullivan said the biggest task they have is educating businesses in the town ahead of huge crowds.
“They’re going to be passing through, but there also are going to be people that are just going to stop the minute that the eclipse happens.”
Millions gather to see a total solar eclipse
According to the city, six to seven million people traveled to the center of “totality” to see the total solar eclipse in 2017. In a total solar eclipse, the moon is closer to the Earth and completely blocks out the sun when it passes between the Earth and the Sun.
At this moment, it gets so dark that you can look directly at the sun without eclipse glasses, according to NASA.
“We’re gonna be in a path of totality for four minutes,” said Roman Baligad, emergency management coordinator for the City of Dripping Springs. “People aren’t going to be here just for that time. This is a three-day event.”
Baligad is planning to deal with the added congestion the day by strategically placing first responders.
The committee is preparing food stalls and vendors for the expected crowds. They’re also planning to purchase an important eclipse-viewing tool.
“Our goal is to provide at least 30 to 50,000 glasses free of charge,” Sullivan said.
Despite all the preparation, Sullivan said they’re not doing extra promotion.
“Dripping Springs is already a huge tourism destination because of the Hill Country. And so we’re not actually promoting it to people to come here, because I think they’re going to come anyway.”