Think ahead, think big for next solar eclipse


Save the date — Monday, April 8, 2024; Location — Fredericksburg, Texas.

That’s when a special celestial event will occur over-head. Along about 11 o’clock in the morning, the moon will complete its mission of covering up the sun from our earthly observation point.

Slowly, but surely, the skies over Fredericksburg will begin to darken. You won’t notice it all at once, but it will happen.

We’ll be on the front row of a total solar eclipse!

For those of us who live in the Texas Hill Country, we are invited to observe one of the most entertaining natural phenomena known to mankind. (By the way, clouds are NOT invited to our party.)

In about seven and a half years from now, we’ll be one of the lucky communities that’ll host the eclipse. It’ll be very similar to the solar eclipse that occurred back in August of this year, except it’ll run right through down-town Fredericksburg.

And, while this year’s event had a totality of slightly more than two minutes, the 2024 version will last well over four minutes!

In essence, we will become that “All-American” city featured so many times during the publicity leading up to (and following) the big event of Aug. 21, 2017.

I would imagine that with a reasonable amount of thoughtful consideration and pre-planning, the leadership of both the City of Fredericksburg and sur-rounding Gillespie County could work to turn that special Monday in 2024 into a beneficial payday for the overall population.

However, while that “pay-day” could certainly be in the form of monetary accomplishment, it could also be a “payday” in the dispensing of scientific knowledge as well as good will to people who will visit our community.

Yes, I’m talking about commercialization. But Fredericksburg is already well-versed in that concept without showing its crass side.

Yes, I’m taking about encouraging people from all across America (and the world) to visit our city. But we’re already doing that. We’re fortunate in that we’ve had city and county leaders all along the way who’ve helped Fredericksburg grow at an acceptable rate.

As Goldilocks might say, Fredericksburg is not too big or too small, it’s just right. It’s the perfect size to handle such a gathering.

We’ve already become a Destination Point for many activities; people come here to shop, others come because their wives come here to shop. People who have no connection to the area still come here to tie the knot in this “destination wedding” capital.

It’s not a stretch to imagine the world coming to our humble city to witness one of the greatest astronomical shows offered by the Almighty.


For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!