Angel Olsen, one of the headliners for Atlas Obscura's Ecliptic festival in Hot Springs Luke Rogers

We’re a little over a month out from the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse, and it’s time to get your plans squared away. Sure, full totality only lasts for a handful of minutes, but the days and hours leading up to the big moment are stuffed with an ever-growing number of events and festivities, especially as out-of-state tourist estimates climb into the millions. The following is non-exhaustive place to start:

ECLIPTIC FESTIVAL
FRIDAY 4/5-MONDAY 4/8. Cedar Glades Park, Hot Springs. Starting at $385.

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In place of the 20th annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, Hot Springs nonprofit Low Key Arts is partnering with Atlas Obscura for Ecliptic, a four-day camping-friendly eclipse celebration. Expect performances by artists like Angel Olsen, Blonde Redhead, Allah-Las, Sun Ra Orkestra and Deerhoof and appearances by speakers like former “MythBusters” co-host Adam Savage, astronomer Beth Willman, mythologist John Bucher, theoretical physicist Dr. Kelly Reidy and science writer Rebecca Boyle. Get tickets here.

SOMA IN THE DARK
FRIDAY 4/5, SATURDAY 4/6 AND MONDAY 4/8. SoMa. Free.

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Following an eclipse-themed version of the monthly SoMa After Dark event on Friday (4-9 p.m.) including a 2.29 mile run/walk, Saturday (11 a.m-9 p.m.) will see the SoMa neighborhood transformed by art installations, cosmic-themed activities, a market of local craft and food vendors and a nighttime parade featuring celestial floats. Then, on Monday, there’s a watch party from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. featuring a diorama contest, educational booths and a viewing area with telescopes. Find more info here.

ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: HOLST’S ‘THE PLANETS’
SATURDAY 4/6-SUNDAY 4/7. Robinson Center. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 2 p.m. Sun. $35-$97.

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Cast your gaze beyond merely the sun and the moon with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s pre-eclipse presentation of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” a seven-movement tour through the solar system. Also to be performed is Anna Clyne’s “Night Ferry,” a contemporary voyage that’s said to shuttle listeners through the highs and lows of manic depression. Get tickets here.

Frederick Baltimore
Rodney Block

ECLIPSE AT THE RIVER MARKET
SATURDAY 4/6-MONDAY 4/8. First Security Amphitheatre. Free.

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The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau is pregaming the eclipse with concerts by Dumas native trumpeter Rodney Block and his outstanding band on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Monticello native country singer-songwriter Ward Davis on Sunday (7 p.m.). The day of the eclipse, The Machine — one of the best and oldest Pink Floyd tribute bands — will be playing from 12:40-3 p.m.. Don’t worry; they’ll be performing “The Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety. 

ECLIPSE AT UA LITTLE ROCK
MONDAY 4/8. Jack Stephens Center. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

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Beginning with a lecture by motivational speaker and author Alaina Levine, eclipse festivities at UA Little Rock include guided observation sessions via telescopes and big-screen projections, an inflatable planetarium, a Foucault’s pendulum, activities for children and food trucks. Up to 30,000 pairs of solar glasses will be distributed for free. Find more info here.

ECLIPSE DAY AT THE ZOO
MONDAY 4/8. Little Rock Zoo. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $30.

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Curious about how a variety of wild animals will react to one of the strangest natural occurrences they’ve ever witnessed? The Little Rock Zoo is inviting up to 2,000 guests to experience the eclipse alongside their collection of unsuspecting creatures. Price includes solar glasses and access to experts, entertainment and educational activities; food from Adams Catfish will be available for purchase. Get tickets here.

NASA/Chris Gunn
Amber Straugn

ECLIPSE AT UCA
FRIDAY 4/5-MONDAY 4/8. University of Central Arkansas, Conway. Free.

UCA is throwing a watch party from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Estes Stadium on Monday, but the main events come earlier. From Friday through Sunday, the Department of Physics and Astronomy is offering nine opportunities to see an eclipse-themed show at their Dr. Edmond E. Griffin Planetarium. Then, on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m., NASA astrophysicist and Bee Branch native Amber Straughn will speak at the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Find a complete list of UCA’s eclipse-related activities here.

ECLIPSE AT AMFA
FRIDAY 4/5, SATURDAY 4/6 AND MONDAY 4/8. Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. Free, $15 for screenings.

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In conjunction with “Action/Abstraction Redefined,” their new exhibition on modern Native American art, AMFA will host Erin Fehr for a talk on Friday (6 p.m.) about the intersections of Indigenous storytelling and the eclipse. The museum is also screening two eclipse-adjacent films on Sunday: “Fantasia” (12:30 p.m.) and “2001: A Space Odyssey” (3 p.m.). Their Monday viewing party takes place on the Crescent Lawn from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a performance from Ballet Arkansas. Find more info and tickets here.

MOON BLOCK PARTY
SATURDAY 4/6-MONDAY 4/8. Argenta Plaza, North Little Rock. Free.

The North Little Rock tourism board is hosting a vendor market (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) and a silent disco (6 p.m.-9 p.m.) on Saturday, pop-up fitness activities and a performance by Mayday by Midnight (7 p.m.-9 p.m.) on Sunday, and a watch party on Monday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., which will feature live music from the Six Piece Suits, food trucks and beer from Flyway Brewing. Find more info here.

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