Jonesboro forms Eclipse Oversight Committee
A total solar eclipse is slated to occur April 8, 2024, and parts of Northeast Arkansas will be in the direct viewing path. Civic and business leaders are anticipating that thousands of tourists will flock to the region to watch the event live. Northeast Arkansas’ largest city, Jonesboro is preparing for the influx.
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver said an Eclipse Oversight Committee has been created. The committee will provide the major oversight of all Jonesboro associations with the eclipse, including special events, coordinating with businesses and schools.
The committee will be chaired by Cari White, former Chamber of Commerce chief of operations, and includes representatives of several sectors of the Jonesboro community.
“This is a big event, but we don’t know exactly what to expect, especially insofar as people coming through,” Copenhaver said. “A total eclipse is rare, and we want to have some parties to celebrate and commemorate this special time. So we will have a weekend of events and things to do.”
“Other than that, we don’t know how many people might be coming through, staying the night or weekend before that Monday’s eclipse. So that’s why I am appointing this committee,” he added.
Other members include businessman Junior Das, Tiffny Calloway of NYIT School of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, Trey Stafford of Jonesboro Radio Group, community advocate Sam Hummelstein, City Parks Director Danny Kapales, Carolina Elmore of The Hispanic Center, Chamber of Commerce Vice President Cody Slater, and Sally Smith of the Jonesboro Police Department.
“These are all people who invest deeply in Jonesboro and have our best interest at heart,” Copenhaver said. “I appreciate them for taking the time to do this, and I especially thank Cari White for leading the charge.”
The eclipse will begin that day in the south Pacific ocean and then rapidly move up the coast in Mexico and then into the southern U.S., according to NASA. The partial eclipse will begin in parts of Arkansas around 12:30 p.m. that day with the maximum full eclipse happening near 2 p.m. for parts of the state.
The next solar eclipse that will be viewable from the contiguous U.S. will be Aug. 23, 2044.