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Solar Eclipse 2017 – Eclipse Day Event Info

2017 Total Solar Eclipse, Columbia, South Carolina, Solar Eclipse 2017

Total Solar Eclipse Event Day Information – Mon., Aug. 21

Parking Lot Opens: 7 a.m., Doors Open: 8 a.m. and Museum Closes: 10 p.m.

The Total Solar Eclipse is nearly here! Check out the information below to help you prepare for your day at the South Carolina State Museum.

Quick Reminders

The State Museum and the reserved viewing area outside are for ticket holders only. There are no more tickets available. Please do not ask your friends and family to meet you at the museum on this day unless they have tickets.

This is a rain or shine event. In the event weather conditions are poor we will be live-streaming the solar eclipse in several viewing areas throughout the building.

Safety, Traffic and Transportation

If you are not driving, or are interested in alternate transportation:

  • Consider carpooling.

  • LYFT and Uber are both available for rideshares.

  • Check Yellow Cab Co. and other local taxi services are also available.

If you are walking from nearby accommodations and/or parking areas, please remember it may be hot and plan accordingly.

Museum Parking

Please note: Once the museum lots are full, guests will be directed to park in a lot across from the museum on Huger St. Shuttles will available all day to bring guests across the street to the museum.

If all museum lots are full, the City of Columbia parking garages will be open to the public on the day of the eclipse.


Guests may enter the building from the front and the planetarium side entrance beginning at 8 a.m. (see above parking map).

If you need Will-Call, it will be located at the Admissions Desk and staff will be present to direct you there upon arrival.

You will exchange your ticket for an all access wristband that you will need to wear all day for access to shows and movies and to re-enter the building.

Important Times

Partial Eclipse Begins – 1:13 p.m.

Eclipse Totality – 2:42 p.m.

Eclipse Ends – 4:06 p.m.

Museum Closes – 10 p.m.

Planetarium and 4D shows will play throughout the day (except for a small break during the eclipse).

Click HERE to see times and show descriptions.

Gen. Charles Duke will address the crowd at 1:30 p.m.

The Boeing Observatory will be open 9 a.m. – Noon and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.


More Helpful Tips

  • Wear light, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes

  • Bring sunscreen and apply as needed while you are viewing the eclipse

  • Remember, there will complimentary water available during eclipse viewing

  • Chairs, coolers, etc. will not be allowed in the viewing area

  • Bring cash. The museum does not have an ATM.

  • Consider taking pictures of each person in your party, in the event you become separated or lost.

  • Keep your wristband on! You will need your wristband to gain entry into museum shows and to re-enter the builidng after the eclipse viewing.

  • After receiving your viewing glasses at check-in, make sure to keep them safe and undamaged. If the lenses become bent, creased or scratched you may need to pick up another pair from a staff member.