Events in advance of the eclipse:
• A workshop – “2017 Total Solar Eclipse: The Basics” – is from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. this Saturday and again Aug. 19 at the George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Road in Independence (across from the middle school campus). It’s for ages 13 and up. Commemorative eclipse glasses will be given out. Class sizes are limited. Call 816-325-7115.
• The Independence Square Association plans several free events. On Friday, Aug. 18, “Music Between the Bricks” with Retro is at 7 p.m. at the Courthouse Exchange, 113 W. Lexington Ave.
At dusk on Saturday, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the movie at “Wine, Brew & a Movie Too” at the Courthouse Exchange. At dusk on Sunday, “E.T.” is shown for “Moonlight Movies” in the parking lot of the Pharaoh Theater on Maple Street.
Several Square merchants have specials throughout the weekend, such as Moon Pie shakes at Clinton’s Soda Fountain, moonlight bowling at the Diamond Bowl and medium Black Out Latte’s for $4 at Main Street Coffee.
• Park University is holding “Eclipsing Park University: A Conversation with Dr. Lynn Bondurant” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on campus in Parkville. Bondurant is a Park graduate and a retired NASA education programs officer. It’s free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Go to www.park.edu/eclipse.
The big day, Aug. 21
Liberty Street will be blocked off from Maple to Lexington for a free party from 11:41 a.m. (beginning of the partial eclipse) to 2:36 p.m. (the end). There will be a bounce house and other attractions, and T-shirts will be for sale. After totality, pop artist of Crystal Clayton is to perform.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 10.6 seconds starting at 1:08:38 p.m.
Metropolitan Community College-Blue River
On Missouri 78, east of Jackson Drive in eastern Independence.
There’s a program, but you need to RSVP. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mcc-blue-river-solar-eclipse-event-tickets-36876282955?aff=MarketingLink
Gather in the Arts & Sciences Gym at 11 a.m. A presentation is at 11:15, and everyone heads outside for the start of the eclipse at 11:40. The partial eclipse begins in that spot at 11:41. Folding chairs are allowed. A limited number of eclipse glasses will be available.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 19.7 seconds starting at 1:08:44 p.m.
George Owens Nature Park
1601 S. Speck Road in Independence (across from the middle school campus).
Program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Demonstrations and activities. Free eclipse glasses while supplies last.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 17.8 seconds starting at 1:08:42 p.m.
Burr Oak Woods State Forest
Off Missouri 7 in north Blue Springs. From M-7, go west on Park Drive a few blocks to the forest entrance. Roads run through this area of the forest, and there are several open spaces with some parking.
No special events are planned, but the area is open to visitors. The nature paths are open. The nature center – the building with such attractions as the aquariums and the bird-viewing window – is closed on Mondays.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 10.4 seconds starting at 1:08:58 p.m.
500 West U.S. 24 in Independence. It’s between Spring Street and River Boulevard and directly north of McCoy Park.
The public is welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the eclipse from the museum’s spacious front lawn. Free eclipse glasses for the first 250 visitors.
To go into the library, adult admission is $8, and the library will have two “White Glove Monday” events during which seldom-seen items in the museum’s vast collection of Truman items are brought out.
At 11 a.m., a model of the Telstar Satellite is displayed. The satellite was launched in 1962. President Kennedy used it for a televised address, and Harry Truman was the first private citizen to use it for a phone call. The model was given to NASA director James Webb, whose papers are at the library.
At noon, a U.S. flag and a Missouri flag that went to the moon will be displayed. Alan Shepard – the first American in space in 1961 and then the fifth man on the moon – took the flags on Apollo 14 in early 1971 and later that year gave them to Truman.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 14.9 seconds starting at 1:08:35 p.m.
The park in Sugar Creek is at the foot of the Missouri 291 bridge over the Missouri River. Turn east off M-291 at Cement City Road and take the immediate left and go north to the park.
The city has an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Total eclipse: 1 minute, 45.7 seconds starting at half a second after 1:08:20 p.m.
Take the train
Amtrak says tickets are still available for the morning cross-state train out of Kansas City on Aug. 21. It’s scheduled to arrive in Jefferson City at 11:18 a.m. – before the beginning of the partial eclipse and well before the full eclipse. The Missouri River Runner leaves Kansas City at 8:15 a.m., stops in Independence at 8:34 and Lee’s Summit at 8:51. The State Capitol is a few blocks -- be ready for a brief, steep hill -- from the depot, and there’s a good view of the Missouri River. There are many open spaces on the grounds of the Capitol.
Coming back in the evening, a train is scheduled for 6:22 p.m. in Jefferson City, 8:59 in Lee’s Summit and 9:06 in Independence. Amtrak lists an Independence-to-Jefferson City round trip as starting at $48, but it also uses dynamic pricing, so prices can rise as tickets grow scarce.
Total eclipse: 2 minutes, 29.2 seconds starting at 1:13:08 p.m. The partial eclipse starts at 11:46:06.
Watkins Mill State Park
It’s near Lawson, Mo., which is on the center line of the path of totality. No events listed, but the park is open.
Total eclipse: 2 minutes, 33.8 seconds starting at half a second after 1:08:00 p.m.
Weston Bend State Park
It’s on Missouri 45 near Weston. No events listed, but the park is open.
Total eclipse: 2 minutes, 1.9 seconds starting at 1:07:01 p.m.
Lewis and Clark State Park
It’s on Missouri 45 north of Iatan. No events listed, but the park is open.
Total eclipse: 2 minutes, 18.1 seconds starting at 1:06:23 p.m.