Although April 8, 2024, seems far away to most, for eclipse chasers — or umbraphiles — it will be here quicker than the speed of light.

The date is the expected occasion of the 2024 Great North American Eclipse, and scientists are pointing to Texas as the premier place to view it. Lampasas is front and center as one of the places to be.

According to’s top 20 best places in the continent to view the solar eclipse, Lampasas is ranked sixth, after Kerrville and Radar Base.

The top three locations are in Mexico. The final three viewing sites on the list are Plattsburgh, New York; Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Mars Hill, Maine.

So what is all the fuss about?

The last eclipse of its kind occurred in 2017, and one small Idaho town drew tens of thousands people to view it.

Local officials are planning for a massive turnout of about 100,000 enthusiasts in a town of just under 10,000 people.


In a solar eclipse, the moon gets in the way of the earth and the sun.

A total eclipse occurs when the moon appears at least as large as the sun. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun and cannot cover the sun completely.

According to NASA, what makes a total eclipse more view worthy is its dark silhouette.

Many enthusiasts, including retired Lampasas Middle School science teacher Dianna Hodges, recall “The Great American Eclipse of 2017,” which received considerable media attention.

It was the first total eclipse of the sun to be visible from the contiguous United States since 1979, the first since 1918 to go from coast to coast and the first total solar eclipse to be visible from the United States in the 21st century.

Joe Rao of said of the 2017 solar eclipse in an April 8 column that “it was also the very first time in modern history that the path of totality was visible solely from within the confines of the United States and no other country.”

An eclipse totality, when the moon “completely” covers the sun, occurs at best only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth. This narrow track is called the path of totality.

And that is where Lampasas comes in.

The narrow track for the 2024 eclipse perfectly strikes through the city limits, according to NASA researchers, and will miss larger cities like Waco, Killeen, Austin and San Antonio.


For the eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, the maximum duration of totality lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds — nearly a half-minute longer than the U.S. average.

But on April 8, 2024, the maximum duration of totality will last as long as 4 minutes and 26 seconds, mostly over southwest Texas, including Lampasas. That’s 135 seconds longer than the U.S. average and 40% longer than the maximum duration of the 2017 eclipse.

This detail drew attention with articles from NBC, and Astronomy Magazine, and has landed Lampasas as one of the places to be in early April 2024.

County and local officials recently took notice of these eclipse articles, and a community task force was developed to address tourist economic impact, public safety and overall quality experience as they, too, predict a six-figure population turnout for the event.

The task force will meet every six months. It consists of representatives from the city of Lampasas, Kempner, Lometa, Vision Lampasas, Texas Department of Public Safety, Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, along with state and county emergency management teams.

In a meeting at the courthouse Wednesday morning, Fire Chief Jeff Smith and Hodges led the discussion on how the eclipse can impact Lampasas.

Hodges presented an eclipse community planning report from Idaho. In 2015, similar word was given to Idaho officials that several small communities were in the path of totality.

The goal of the report was to “offer communities in Idaho tools to navigate” the months leading up to the 2017 eclipse. “It is not a question if people show up, but how many,” was one of the objectives in the manual.

The tone of Wednesday’s meeting was the same.

Hodges reported that hotels surrounding the city already are booked for the time around April 8, 2024, which falls on a Monday.

Smith noted that eclipse chasers do arrive at destination spots days before the event and leave abruptly afterward. He acknowledged the eclipse could bring some positive economic impact, but his job is “safety first.”

Lampasas is surrounded by three U.S. highways, and Smith predicted that could cause some major traffic congestion with eclipse chasers flocking to town.

Another concern is Lampasas ISD students, as the eclipse event is expected to happen across the city limits shortly before the school day concludes.

Others talked of planning events to coincide with the day of the total eclipse.

No action was taken Wednesday, however, as this was just one of many more meetings to come, officials said.

Concrete operations and logistics are expected to be on the agenda in an April 6, 2022 meeting – 24 months before the eclipse occurs.

For more information or to get involved in the planning, visit