Jefferson City eclipse turnout lower than expected

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JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City eclipse events officially ended Monday evening and, according to Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Communications Manager Katherine Reed, turnout was not as high as expected.

The National Eclipse Task Force told the city to be prepared for a double in population on Monday, August 21.

As a result, the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau took two years to prepare for 50,000 people.

“I think realistically, we saw around the 20 to 30 thousand mark here today, but it’s still a great turnout.”

Reed said volunteers, city organizers and state organizers worked well together to provide events beginning Saturday evening.

Ultramax Tees was one of the booths set up on the Capitol lawn. Employee Bailey Barnes said, “We definitely were way busier than I thought we would be. We were non-stop.”

Barnes said about 2,000 people visited the tent for t-shirts each day and they had to shut down so they could enjoy the event without working.

“Getting to watch NASA do their live broadcast, the events across the river in north Jefferson, the live entertainment, the bands were great, and then totality hearing everyone cheering in the streets, it was just amazing,” said Reed. “So I think it went better than we expected.”

Reed said MoDot prepared people for heavy traffic throughout the weekend and on Monday, but it ended up being lighter than expected.