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City of Cabot gets ready for total solar eclipse in 2024



Cabot, Arkansas – The next solar eclipse won’t happen for another year and a half. and the path of totality will pass through two-thirds of the state.

Arkansas Tourism has been touring the state to prepare the cities along the totality path because it is anticipated that the event will draw visitors from all over the world to the Natural State.

“The experts are telling us to expect at least half of our population visitors during that time,” President and CEO of Cabot Chamber, Gina Jones said.
That comes out to around 14,000 visitors in the city of Cabot.

Jones stated that they were better prepared for what was to follow after their meeting with Arkansas Tourism on Monday morning.

“We just want to make sure and bring awareness to this. We don’t want people to take it lightly. It can be a huge thing for Cabot and all of Arkansas really,” Jones said.

She added that it might also provide a significant boost to the city’s businesses.

“We’re excited about it and can’t wait to see what happens,” she added.

Most campgrounds are already fully booked a year in ahead, according to Jessica Ledbetter with Arkansas Tourism, and hotel rooms are beginning to run out.

“We’re really seeing numbers already starting to come in. We’re seeing, you know, conventions and tour companies and things like that, putting their names on the books for really big groups to come into Arkansas,” Ledbetter said.

That includes visitors from other nations.

“In two weeks, I’m actually doing a site visit all across the state with a tour operator from the United Kingdom, who wants to come in and stay in Arkansas and she’s just trying to pick the perfect place,” Ledbetter described.

A million or more people may go to Arkansas to view the eclipse, according to Arkansas Tourism.

The next step, according to Ledbetter, is to coordinate some logistics with ARDOT and utility providers before the big event.

“You don’t want the sun to go down and all of your lights to be on an automatic dimmer where when the lights go off when the sun goes down, your lights come on,” she said.

Another important goal will be controlling traffic.

“We don’t want them to have to just park on the side of the road and watch the eclipse overhead and then be stuck in traffic. So we want everywhere in Arkansas to be aware that, hey, this is coming, and you should be prepared for it,” she described.

The chamber, according to Jones, has been considering holding a special eclipse event, though there are no specifics as of yet.


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