Get Ready for the Great Solar Eclipse on April 8


(Alton, IL- Feb. 23, 2024) The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is preparing for some stellar fun during the Great American Solar Eclipse on April 8 with a free viewing party filled with entertainment, food, drinks and more at Herald Square next to Old Herald Brewery & Distillery in Collinsville with the fun starting at Noon and running through 3 p.m.

Nature’s greatest show – a full eclipse of the sun – will be celebrated in southwest Illinois at the festival which will include a fire performer creating magic with flames, live raptor displays from TreeHouse Wildlife Center, a visit by The Bubble Bus and local vendors offering food, drinks and games.

The Bureau will also have free certified eclipse viewing glasses available during the event.

Old Herald Brewery & Distillery is marking the occasion with a special brew – Solar Shandy – and has partnered with Big Muddy Brewery to create a Dark Noon Whiskey. Commemorative pint glasses will be available for free with the purchase of Solar Shandy or Dark Noon Whiskey.

“We can’t wait to share the excitement of the eclipse with everyone during the Eclipse Viewing Party,” Cory Jobe, President & CEO of the Tourism Bureau noted. “Our region will experience 99 percent totality during the eclipse which will be a spectacular viewing experience. We’d like to invite people to put this viewing party on their calendars and make plans now to attend.”

Also on hand will be local vendors including Uptown Scoops which will offer a frozen custard created for the eclipse: Moon Pie Custard. This treat will feature banana cream custard paired with Moon Pie pieces and drizzled with a chocolate hard shell. AP Cigars of Alton will be on hand selling cigars from around the world and Moon Drops Wellness of Alton will offer samples of its seltzer water and have cans available for purchase. There will also be lawn games for all ages along with activities planned for the kids.

For anyone interested in making the Solar Eclipse an overnight experience, check out hotel options and see a full calendar of local events planned around southwest Illinois at:


(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties and East St. Louis in St. Clair County. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)