So It Begins: Downtown Readies For Eclipsefest
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
This is it.
The emergency responders, Eclipsefest organizers, the businesses, volunteers, local residents and a couple score of thousands of visitors will arrive for the once-in-a-lifetime event of witnessing a total eclipse of the sun starting in Grand Teton National Park and passing into Nebraska north of Torrington.
Casper is in the center of it all, totally.
There will be challenges for the possibility of the near doubling of the size of our 60,000 population city including possible spotty cell service, parking, traffic, medical needs, responses to vehicle accidents, and lines of people -- possibly long lines for food, beverages, and portable toilets.
While many of these issues are beyond our control, our behaviors and attitudes are within our control. To that end, someone offered these suggestions on a Facebook page in a now popular post:
"As more and more people start showing up for the eclipse, try to keep in mind how much time and money some of these tourists have spent just getting here. Also remember they are spending a lot of money while they are here.
"They will be lost, and they will be flustered trying to find a good place to view the eclipse. They will also be distracted.
"Everyone try to be extra courteous and helpful, instead of getting annoyed. Give them a break. If you were spending thousands of dollars, wouldn't it be nice to spend it with nice people?
"Let's give Casper, and Wyoming a good name. And most of all, enjoy it. It will be over soon enough."