Welcome to Columbia! Tourists explore the Midlands before the ec - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Welcome to Columbia! Tourists explore the Midlands before the eclipse arrives

(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The total solar eclipse is officially two days away!

People are gearing up for the big day and thousands are making their way to Columbia for the historic and rare event.

"Whenever the moon moves in front of the sun, it goes total darkness,” said one visitor from North Carolina.

Make sure you are checking the First Alert Forecast for the day of the eclipse

People were in the Palmetto State from Ohio and Puerto Rico.  

"Oh for the eclipse and to visit family," Kevin Vazquez said.

Tourists and locals spent the day exploring the Capital City.

"We don't know about the town. We are going to see the State House now but if you have recommendations we will take them," Vasquez said.  

Related: City opens multiple splash pads to escape the heat during Eclipse Weekend

Several thousands spent the morning at the Soda City Eclipse Market on Main Street while others hit the South Carolina State Museum.

"I would safely estimate that over 50% of our guests today are from out of state," Merritt McNeely, the Marketing Director for the State Museum said.

Inching closer to the total solar eclipse, the excitement is building across the nation.

"I don't know if we have ever had this high concentration of people from out of town in our history. This is bringing people from all over the world and all over the nation to be here today,” Mcneely said.

Related: Making sure your glasses are safe for the eclipse

Last minute spectators are trying to get their hands on eclipse glasses. Shulan Chen, the owner of Solar Eclipse International, is hoping to distribute more than 100,000 pairs of eclipse glasses in Columbia over the weekend at his warehouse on Farrow Road. 

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