Columbia Cashing in on Solar Eclipse Crowds

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)- In less than two weeks the Palmetto State, especially Columbia,  will be flooded with tourist who want to watch the the 2017 solar eclipse.

The two to three minute event is expected to bring in millions to the Capital City.

Businesses are booming in the capital city. From sold out hotels to sold out events.

“It’s a once in a lifetime event, I think everyone should take advantage of it,” Martha Studstill, Uptown Gifts Owner said.

The solar eclipse maybe hiding the sun, but its shinning a light on Columbia.

“This will be an opportunity for Columbia to show off to international and visitors from almost every state,” Studstill said.

“We have done sells in over 32 state in the country so far, there may even be more,” VP Marketing & PR Fireflies, Abby Naas said.

Local stores have stocked up their eclipse gear all summer long.

“We have our planets, solar system puzzles, things that are not necessarily about the eclipse but eclipse related because we think that’s an opportunity to interest the kids in science,” Studstill said.

Hundreds of events are happening across the region. John banks is helping put on the Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival at Columbia Speedway.

“We’ll have water slides, ice misting tents, and bands playing live music,” Banks said.

In about a week the 9 acre grass land will be completely transformed into the perfect picnic for the once in a lifetime solar eclipse viewing. Banks said more than 81% of ticket sales are from out-of-towners.

“We’re going to have a huge 40 foot video screen that will actually be showing the NASA feed so people can see the eclipse if it gets cloudy.

The Columbia Fireflies are using the historic event as away to premiere a festival.

“We’re kicking the day off with a STEM Festival out on our crescent patio,” Naas said. “There are going to be tons of vendors doing different STEM activities and interactive things for kids and families.”

The Fireflies will be wearing special eclipse jerseys that glow in the dark.

“The jerseys will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to the STEM centers of South Carolina,” Naas said.

Click here for more 2017 Solar Eclipse events.

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