Staff at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice learned about this year’s solar eclipse back in 2014 and have been planning for the event the past 14 months.
The National Park Service site sits just south of the eclipse’s center line path.
Superintendent Mark Engler says they will experience two minutes and 34 seconds of darkness.
“Because of that there has been a tremendous amount of interest and we are anticipating large crowds,” Engler tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The national monument will have talks with NASA scientists and other experts, and feature programs specific to the historic site. The events begin Friday and run through what they are calling “Eclipse Monday” at 6 p.m.
“Not only will you be able to do things such as cornhusk doll making or working with quilt blocks, but we’ll be having science activities that people will be able to get involved with and enjoy,” Engler says.
They also intend to have a number of giveaways to mark the occasion.
“We know that people who haven’t found us in the past, they’re going to be discovering us for the first time,” he says. “We’re excited about that opportunity to share with them one of the units of our National Park System – Homestead National Monument of America.”
While you can park at Homestead this weekend, you will not be able to on Monday.
The site is partnering with the City of Beatrice to provide a free shuttle bus service.
“These buses are going to be dropping people right off in the parking areas where you would be usually dropped off,” Engler notes. “We’re hoping that people find it much easier to access Homestead National Monument.”
Buses will run Monday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. from the following Beatrice locations with bus stops marked with flags:
- Holiday Inn Express
- Capri Inn and Suites
- Travelers Lodge
- Econo Lodge
- Beatrice Municipal Airport
- Victorian Inn
- Aunt Mary’s Café
- Jim’s Carpet
- Gage County Fairgrounds
- Heritage Center
In addition to Monday, the bus service will operate Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
More information is available HERE.