Herculaneum cancels 4th of July festival to combine with Solar Eclipse viewing party. (Credit: KMOV)
HERCULANEUM (KMOV.com) -
A fourth of July celebration has broken tradition in a small Missouri town. Herculaneum will not have their annual festival in City Park, but it’s still happening just a month and a half later.
This year the city is combining the fourth of July festival with the Solar Eclipse viewing party on August 21. Herculaneum is one of the rare cities that will experience more than 2 minutes of a total eclipse in August.
The change in scheduling has caused some mixed emotions for regular festival-goers.
"[I’m] kind of bummed,” said Trina Labbee, who’s attended the fourth of July festival for many years. “It's local and it's been here for many years and we just don't have it this year to come to."
Now Labbee and her family are looking at other options to watch fireworks over the weekend.
"I mean it's good that they're doing something, However there's a lot of other places that are doing it also that are local and it's just going to be a short period of time that it's here," said Labbee.
Meanwhile others in town think the eclipse is worth the wait to celebrate. Instead of buying fireworks this weekend, Tim Dallas bought eclipse viewing glasses at Herculaneum City Hall, along with a lot of other Solar Eclipse merchandise.
"I think it's great…make a little town shine, I guess," said Dallas.
NASA designated Herculaneum as an official viewing area. Mayor Bill Haggard said he’s already received calls from people in Minnesota, California and Boston saying they are coming to town to catch the Solar Eclipse.
"We're going to basically try and get people to come to the football field here," he said.
Haggard said parking will be difficult, so they plan to have shuttles bringing people to the high school football field for the viewing party.
"We'll have music playing that's all songs about the sun and the moon and a moon pie eating contest," he said.
Haggard said it’s more cost effective to bring the two events together in August.
"We'd just rather concentrate on what will be a once and a lifetime event," said Haggard.
The rescheduled fourth of July festival will happen the weekend before the Eclipse at City Park on August 19 & 20. There will be fireworks at the festival, "basically it's fourth of July in August," said Haggard.
If you are looking for alternative fourth of July festivals nearby this weekend. There are ones happening in Desoto, Hillsboro and Arnold.
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