Party in the Parks planned

Turkey Run, Shades to host Eclipse 2024 Party


Indiana State Parks are gearing up for record numbers of visitors for the April 8 solar eclipse with Inns and campgrounds at full capacity for the weekend ahead of the spectacular Monday event.

Both Turkey Run and Shades State Parks are planning a fun day full of activities for those visitors who will gather to watch the rare occurrence.

The line of totality, 115 miles wide, extends through Indiana with both Turkey Run and Shades State Parks sitting on the edge of that swath. The center of that line will experience four minutes and 28 seconds of total coverage when the moon travels between the earth and the sun. As the line spreads out from the center, those areas will still see totality but with a shorter duration. Both Turkey Run and Shades visitors will watch the beginning of the eclipse at 1:49 p.m. with the shadow reaching totality at 3:05 p.m.

Indiana DNR, Turkey Run and Shades staff, and the Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks have been planning for the big day for over a year. Both parks offer large areas of open sky for incredible viewing of the astronomical event, weather permitting.

Both parks will have viewing glasses for sale (or you can bring your own) as well as commemorative t-shirts. Festivities will include food vendors, sun-related crafts and activities, as well as unique treats such as “Spin your own cotton candy” and “Whoopie It’s an Eclipse Pie” for sale. Turkey Run will have free music from noon to two p.m. in the amphitheater provided by Mackville Bluegrass Band.

Both locations will have FAQ and information handouts, as well as added security and medical personnel on site.

With their remote locations and large crowds expected, cell and internet service may be limited, so visitors who plan to purchase or partake of concessions are encouraged to bring cash for easier transactions.

Campgrounds at both parks are already fully booked, and traffic into the entrance to the main gates is expected to be heavy on that Monday. Note that once the parks have reached their maximum capacity, cars will be turned away.

This will be the last total solar eclipse until August 2044.