The Visitors Bureau in northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph is expecting up to a half-million visitors for Monday’s solar eclipse.

The Pony Express Statue in St. Joseph (photo courtesy of St. Joseph Visitors Bureau)

St. Joseph will be the fifth-largest city along Monday’s eclipse path.

St. Joseph Visitors Bureau project development director Beth Carmichael tells Missourinet she took calls Tuesday from residents in Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri.

“We’ve been told by eclipse experts to expect anywhere between 50,000 and 500,000 people here in St. Joseph for the weekend and on Monday August 21st,” Carmichael says.

Carmichael notes St. Joseph is within easy driving distance of 17 metropolitan areas.

“We have a very large population within a three-hour drive of St. Joseph,” says Carmichael. “And St. Joseph is actually on the center line of the eclipse.”

Experts say that people in St. Joseph will experience about two minutes and 38 seconds of totality on Monday.

The St. Joseph Riverwalk (photo courtesy of the St. Joseph Visitors Bureau)

Many people will be watching from Rosecrans Memorial Airport, which will have astronomers on-hand to explain what is happening. Rosecrans will also have telescopes visitors can use.

City officials are also expecting about 500 kayaks to be in the Missouri River in St. Joseph during the eclipse.

St. Joseph, which has about 76,000 residents, is located at I-29 and Highway 36.


Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with St. Joseph Visitors Bureau project development director Beth Carmichael, which was recorded on August 15, 2017: