Illinois Solar Eclipse 2024: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Announces Viewing Event in Wilmington


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Wilmington, IL – Anticipation is high for the “Picnic on the Prairie” event, announced by the U.S. Forest Service, where the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is set to become a gathering ground for the 2024 Solar Eclipse.

Although the location will miss the totality by a small margin, visitors will still be treated to a 93 percent eclipse obscuration from the River Road Trailhead seedbeds. The community-focused event is scheduled for April 8, 2024, between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm, with the eclipse’s climax expected at 12:45 pm.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the event aims to offer both educational and recreational activities. The Wilmington Park District will provide safe eclipse viewing equipment, ensuring that all attendees can enjoy the spectacle without any risk to their eyesight. Adding to the excitement, the first 100 attendees will be gifted exclusive eclipse swag bags to commemorate the day.

The local Wilmington Stargazers group will enhance the celestial celebration with solar-themed snacks. The group’s involvement underscores the event’s purpose: to bolster community ties and deepen the public’s connection with nature and astronomy. This unique educational opportunity aligns with the Stargazers’ mission to bring the wonders of the universe closer to home. Families, students, and enthusiasts are all encouraged to mark their calendars for this exceptional prairie picnic under the eclipse.


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