Most of Clay County will be a prime spot from which to view the total eclipse of the sun on Monday, Aug. 21.
The total eclipse is a rare and spectacular event that can only be experienced along a relatively narrow strip on the Earth's surface. The eclipse is visible in other areas, but the moon does not cover the sun completely there. Clay County is in a narrow band that passes diagonally through Missouri.
Northern areas of Clay County will be treated to peak eclipse, which lasts about two minutes and 40 seconds. However, even southern Clay County will witness well over a full minute of complete eclipse.
The narrowness of the moon’s shadow is evident by the fact that just south of Clay County, in Downtown Kansas City, the full eclipse will not be visible. The southernmost part of the metro area, including towns like Harrisonville, will not be able to see the eclipse at all.
The eclipse starts about 11:40 a.m., reaches maximum about 1:08 p.m. and ends at 2:35 p.m.
Several Clay County communities are planning activities surrounding the event. Below are some of the announced events, but you may wish to check with your local community for more information.
Excelsior Springs plans a four-day festival culminating with the Eclipse Day Monday, Aug. 21. For more information, visit this link.
Kearney will hold a watch party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jesse James Park. The gates will open at 6 a.m. Go here for more information.
Located near the center of the eclipse path, Lawson will be treated to one of the best views in the region. More information is available at this link.
A special event is planned by Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. For more information, go to this link.
The Clay County Park Department plans a gathering at Smithville Lake. For more information, go to this web page.
Indications are that many events will be well attended. St. Joseph, one of the largest communities directly in the eclipse path, is expecting half a million visitors. Hotels and other facilities are reported as already sold out.