Stock photo of solar eclipse.
District 3 city council candidate Hopi Stosberg (D) at a Greater Bloomington candidate event on March 21, 2023 https://hopi.stosberg.com/
At Wednesday morning’s meeting of Monroe County commissioners, the routine approval of county employee holidays for the following year included a bright spot.
There will be one extra day compared to last year: April 8, 2024, which is Solar Eclipse Day.
On that day, the narrow band of the full solar eclipse will pass right over Monroe County. It’s the kind of rare event that has the local tourism sector buzzing.
At the most recent meeting of the convention and visitors commission, Visit Bloomington executive director Mike McAfee said up to a quarter million visitors or more are expected in the Bloomington area to view the solar eclipse. “It’s going to be wild,” he said.
On Wednesday, commissioner Penny Githens said part of the thought behind making the day of the eclipse a county holiday is to reduce the amount of traffic out on the road. “We’re expecting a certain amount of gridlock,” Githens said.
Commissioner Julie Thomas added, “Everything will be packed full of visitors…and anything we can do to alleviate traffic is probably going to be helpful at this point.”
Another difference between the 2023 holiday schedule and the schedule for next year, is that both election days in 2024—primary and general—will be explicitly designated as holidays.
For 2023, there are two flexible days that county employees can use to take off and vote in the municipal elections, but they’re not tied to the date of elections. They are called “floating holidays.”
As the Nov. 7 date for municipal elections approaches, Monroe County employees are grinding through the standard preparations for the process that is fundamental to a working democracy. Continue reading “Election 2023, Holiday 2024 roundup: Solar Eclipse Day to be a county holiday, along with election days”