Purple Colorful sky with the sun and an eclipse

The 2024 Texas Eclipse: What to Know and Where to Watch in Waco

Purple Colorful sky with the sun and an eclipse
Dec 11, 2023

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will darken the skies in parts of the United States. Will you be able to enjoy the show from where you live?

While people across the country will get a glimpse of a partial eclipse, only those of us in the direct path will enjoy the full effect. Here in Waco, we’ll get one of the best views of the event with four minutes and 13 seconds of totality! (More on that shortly.)

Keep reading to learn more about the eclipse, including the best places in Waco to watch it and how you should prepare to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

What to Expect During a Total Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, leaving the Earth in the moon’s shadow. It only happens when the sun, moon, and Earth are in a direct line, and when the moon is close enough to the Earth to completely block out the sun.

While the sky won’t get pitch black, it will get much darker and hazier—like the beginning of an eerie twilight. The fading light will create a unique 360-degree sunset on the horizon. And expect the temperature to drop around 10 degrees.

An eclipse is the only time that you can spot the sun’s “corona” with the naked eye. The corona is an ultra-hot halo of atmosphere that is normally invisible to us, as the sun’s brightness completely outshines it. While the surface of the sun is around 5,500°C, the corona measures around 1,000,000°C!

How long the sun will be obscured depends on where you are on the “path of totality.” This is a 115-mile wide stretch where you can see the full eclipse. The closer you are to the center of that path, the longer the eclipse will last.

Waco is almost dead center on the path of totality, meaning we will get a longer eclipse event than almost anywhere else: four minutes and 13 seconds of total sun obscurity. For context,  Austin, just over 100 miles away, will only get one minute and 40 seconds of totality.

If you’re in Texas, this is an event you don’t want to miss. A total solar eclipse occurs somewhere around the world about every 18 months, but it can be hundreds of years in between total eclipses in the same place. The last total eclipse to pass through Waco was in 1878, and there won’t be another visible from Central Texas until after the year 3000!

Where to Watch the 2024 Eclipse in Waco

All you really have to do to see the eclipse in Waco is go outside (equipped with solar glasses, which we’ll discuss shortly). Head for an open area where there won’t be any obstructions between yourself and the sun for the best view.

Full Eclipse Schedule in Waco

  • Partial eclipse begins: 12:20:30 p.m.
  • Totality begins: 1:38:02 p.m.
  • Totality ends: 1:42:14 p.m.
  • Partial eclipse ends: 3:00:43 p.m.

If you want a little more fanfare, attend one of these great Waco events to turn your eclipse experience into a full celebration.

Eclipse Over Texas: Live from Waco

The City of Waco is partnering with Baylor University and Arizona’s Lowell Observatory to host Eclipse Over Texas: Live From Waco. This special event will take place at McLane Stadium on the Baylor Campus. Located on the north bank of the Brazos River, this will be an ideal spot for eclipse viewing with unobstructed views.

Tickets to the event include ISO-certified solar glasses, presentations by astronomers and science educators, interactive activities, and safe telescope viewing of the phenomenon. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase.

Countryside Total Solar Eclipse Viewing

To catch the eclipse away from the city, head out to the Book family’s expansive countryside property. With plenty of room to spread out, this may be a less crowded place to enjoy the event, about 15 minutes southeast of downtown Waco.

For a flat fee of $150 per car, you can bring your whole crew to their property—up to 10 people allowed per vehicle. Come with lawn chairs, blankets, and pop up tents to watch the eclipse in comfort. Food, drinks, and solar glasses will be available for purchase, or you can pack a cooler for an eclipse picnic (no alcohol allowed).

2024 Grand Design RV Owners Texas Eclipse Rally

Grand Design RV owners can spend the weekend with like-minded nomads at the Extraco Events Center for the Grand Design RV Owners Texas Eclipse Rally. From Friday, April 5th through the morning of Tuesday, April 9th, hook up your RV to one of the event center’s 250 sites and enjoy group gatherings, raffles, educational and retailer RV showcasing, and some group meals. In between all that, of course, you can watch the eclipse.

More Eclipse Weekend Celebrations

The weekend will also offer more eclipse-themed fun across town, as part of the city’s Eclipse Over Texas: Live From Waco program.

Friday evening will feature Music Over Waco, a free eclipse-themed concert at Indian Spring Park. Details are still being finalized, but this will be a fun way to kick off the weekend’s celebrations!

On Saturday, dive into science and technology at STEAMclipse at the Waco Convention Center. Hosted by Education Service Center Region 12 and the City of Waco, this will be a day full of educational booths, speakers and presentations, student performances, games, and food all leading up to Monday’s eclipse. This event is free to attend and is designed to promote STEM awareness and education for the whole family.

Later that evening, break out your running shoes for the Glow Over Waco 5k Run in Downtown Waco. More details to come!

The Waco Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday afternoon titled Sci-Fi Spectacular: Sun, Moon & Superstars featuring music from Star Wars, Interstellar, and Holst’s The Planets. And on Sunday evening, head to Indian Spring Park for the Lights Over Waco Experience. Details coming soon.

All weekend long, you can visit the Martin Museum of Art on the Baylor University campus to view In Pursuit of Light: Women in Photography from the Permanent Collection. This collection of photos by female photographers will explore feminist ideas and the use of light as both a tool and a subject in photos. There will also be commentary about the eclipse through the lens of light.

Expect more eclipse events to be announced as the big day gets closer!

Eclipse Safety

The sun is so bright that looking straight at it—even when it’s partially obscured by the moon—can cause serious damage to your eyes. It’s called solar retinopathy, and it can create blurry vision or a central blind point in your eye. These symptoms can be temporary…or permanent.

So how can you watch the eclipse in safety? Wear ISO-approved eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while the sun is still visible. Once the sun is completely obscured, you can remove your eclipse glasses, according to NASA. But you need to know when to put them back on. Keep track of the totality schedule, so you can put your glasses back on before the moon begins to move away from the sun again.

Also note that even with your eclipse glasses on, you should not look at the eclipse through a telescope, camera, or binoculars. These devices focus the sun’s rays and may damage your eyes.

Attendees of the Eclipse Over Texas event will receive a pair of solar glasses upon entry. You can also purchase glasses for yourself and your family.

Where to Stay in Waco to Watch the Eclipse

Coming to Waco from out of town for the eclipse? Book your accommodations as soon as possible, as hotels are filling up quickly. Some hotels have a three-night minimum stay requirement over the eclipse weekend.

You can book a hotel near McLane Stadium, or one with easy highway access to reach your destination on eclipse day.

Hotels near McLane Stadium

Hotels with easy highway access

For tent camping, RV sites, and luxury cabins, plus pool and entertainment






Contact the Waco TPID

Waco Tourism Public Improvement District Corporation

424 Clay Avenue, Suite 2343
Waco, TX 76706
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