Columbia sets solar eclipse budget

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COLUMBIA - The budget for August's solar eclipse events is set and awaiting the transfer and appropriation of the funds by the Columbia City Council. 

The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau obtained $25,500 through business sponsorships. 

Sponsorships from businesses like Columbia Water & Light and University of Missouri Health Care will cover expenses like tent and sound system rental and signage. 

CVB Strategic Communication Manager Megan McConachie said the bureau began talking to local business in late 2016. 

McConachie said solar eclipse events will help the city and the community. 

“That influx of tourist over the weekend and then on Monday, that is absolutely beneficial to our community, and we really think its great that the community is sponsoring this and supporting this. So we definitely want to give them something they can be proud of," McConachie said. 

The events planned from Aug. 19 through Aug. 21 will take place throughout Columbia, but the main events will be at Cosmo Park and Gans Creek Recreation Center. 

This will be the first event of its scale the CVB has planned. 

“For us this is definitely a unique experience both in planning and as far as the eclipse, this is never going to happen again while any of us are alive," McConachie said. 

McConachie said the bureau has reached out to other cities in the path of totality and worked with Columbia Parks and Recreation to plan the event. 

“The main event and attraction is the eclipse, but we want to make sure that everything that is surrounding that has a really fun Columbia-feeling atmosphere as well,” McConachie said. 

The funds were first heard at Monday night's city council.

Between now and August, the city still has logistics to work out now that it knows the scale it can work with. Along with final planning, the city also wants to continue to promote the events. 

“There is still a lot of people just in our city who don’t know that the eclipse is going to be happening, so we want to get the word out of course. A, that it’s happening and also how to view it safely,” McConachie said. 


Programming note: KOMU 8 has a summer series, Show Me Eclipse, which will detail all the ways the total solar eclipse will afftect mid-Missouri. Watch every Wednesday on KOMU 8 News at Six.

Read more stories about how this total solar eclipse will impact mid-Missouri on our official page.