Two Years Later: Reflecting on Casper’s Total Solar Eclipse
Two years ago, the town of Casper had the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city. It only lasted a weekend, but the town boomed with new businesses and activities galore. In fact, Wyoming Highway Patrol said the population of the state tripled during the eclipse. The hotels were full. People on AirBnB were asking astronomically high prices for renting their homes.
On August 21, 2nd Street crawled with people from all over the globe. David Street Station opened for the first time. The downtown area gained a few new bars like Gaslight Social and Frontier Brewery. There were telescopes everywhere pointing towards the sun. It was a big party that everyone was invited to.
A wide variety of businesses lined the streets - food trucks, merchants selling eclipse swag, psychics reading tarot cards, artist showing off their craft. Musicians took to stages that seem to emerge from every corner. There was even a flame breathing dragon made out of scrap metal.
Looking back, have things changed for Casper since the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017? We think it has. Since the eclipse, we've seen an increase in popularity of street festivals. The food trucks roll into a parking lot, and people gather for small community parties. David Street continues to grow to bring a wide variety of family-friendly activities from movie night to farmer's market.
It's like the community thought, "Hey, we have some cool people in town and some awesome places to gather. We should get out and enjoy it ... before winter returns." Whether it is a result of the Eclipse Festival or just a reflection of the times, we think it is a good thing.
Remember the map with all the pins?