10 best events across the US to celebrate the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse

A group of people on a hillside wearing eclipse glasses are looking up at the sky,
People gather to watch the 2017 total solar eclipse over the town of Prinevill, Oregon, U.S. (Image credit: Dimitrios Manis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Where will you be for America's 'ring of fire'? 

On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, the second of three central eclipses crosses the U.S. in the eight years between 2017 and 2024. For most onlookers, it will be a partial eclipse, with the moon taking a chunk out of the sun over the course of a few hours. However, if you position yourself within a roughly 125 miles wide path stretching from Oregon through Texas (and on to Central and South America) a rare annular solar eclipse will be visible. 

From selected locations in Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas a bright ring around the moon will be visible for up to 4 minutes 53 seconds. Anyone using solar eclipse glasses can safely view the eclipse from anywhere in the path, but visit one of these dedicated viewing events for expert commentary, telescopes, activities and more: 

Related: Annular solar eclipse 2023: Everything you need to know

1. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Image credit: Leo York/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (map)

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:34 a.m. MDT, 4 mins 43 secs

A nine-day event that's been held in early October since 1972, it just so happens that the penultimate day of this year's Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 7-15, 2023) coincides with the annular solar eclipse — and it's almost bang on the centerline. There are no special events planned as such, but the spectacle of 500 colorful balloons will attract many to one of the biggest cities in the path of annularity. Crowds of 100,000 are expected — and so are clear skies. The balloons should be grounded by 10:30 a.m., which is cutting it fine for the long 'ring of fire' that begins just minutes later. Tickets are typically $15 per session to spectate. 

2. Eclipse UTOPiA

Location: Four Sisters Ranch, Utopia, Texas (map)

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 11:49 a.m. CDT, 4 mins 50 secs 

As well as being in the 120 square mile quadrant for the 'Great Texas Twoclipse' — where the two eclipse paths of Oct. 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024, cross — the Texan Hit Country town of Utopia sits almost on where the two centerlines cross. First comes a long 'ring of fire', for which Four Sisters Ranch is hosting an intimate campout, also promising unparalleled views and eclectic music. If you have fun then come back less than six months later to experience a long totality at the same location. Tickets to "experience the convergence" sell from $250.  

3. Welcome Home Fest

Location: Quiet Valley Ranch, Kerrville, Texas (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:22 a.m. CDT, 4 minutes 24 seconds

Just south of Kerrville in Texas Hill Country, Quiet Valley Ranch is also firmly in the crossroads of the eclipses. In early April 2024, it will host its annual Kerrville Folk Festival — a fixture of the local music scene for over 50 years — just as a rare totality arrives, re-branding it the KerrEclipse 2024 festival. Before that, it will host the third annual Welcome Home Fest (Oct. 12-15, 2023), a smaller and more intimate version using a smaller stage.  

4. Ring of Fire Fest, Goosenecks State Park

Aerial view of goosenecks landform. (Image credit: Wild Horizons/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Location: Mexican Hat, Utah (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:29 a.m. MDT, 4 mins 40 secs

Utah's National Parks are world-famous, but Utah State Parks remain something of a hidden gem. On Oct. 14, 2023, this small park on a dramatic bend in the San Juan River will be hosting an event featuring telescopes, solar binoculars, food booths and informational booths, with free solar eclipse glasses provided by the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitor Services. It's also an International Dark Sky Park. If you want to stay overnight there are eight designated campsites along the rim of the canyon. 

Related: Dark Sky Utah: A complete guide to astro-travel in America's darkest state

5. Solar Eclipse Train

Location: Sky Railway, Santa Fe, New Mexico (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:36 a.m. MDT, 2 mins 34 secs

Sky Railway in Santa Fe, New Mexico is offering a 2-3 hour trip from and to Santa Fe Depot that includes a seat, coffee, breakfast pastry, live entertainment — and 'ring of fire' annular solar eclipse out of the window. Tickets cost from $259 and upgrades are possible to The Acoma, the original lounge car from the 1937 Super Chief that traveled between Chicago and Los Angeles. The same company also offers The Stargazer package — a trip from Santa Fe to the Galisteo Basin to view the New Mexico night sky

6. EclipseFest 2023

Crater Lake National Park Oregon USA. (Image credit: benedek via Getty Images)

Location: Klamath County, Oregon (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 9:17 a.m. PDT, 4 mins 22 secs

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is sure to be a magnet for eclipse-chasers, but it could be cold up there — and possibly even snowing. At a much lower altitude, yet just 25 miles southeast is Klamath County. Its EclipseFest 2023 multi-day festival (Oct. 12-15, with early bird tickets also including Oct. 10-11) includes camping, food and drink, vendors and artisans across three full days of activities, games, prizes, dancing, tasting and shopping. Tickets cost from $160 for camping and from $250 for RVs.  

7. Ring of Fire Eclipse Festival

Location: Ely, Nevada (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 9:24 a.m. PDT, 3 mins 33 secs

This small town in eastern Nevada is best known for its proximity to Great Basin National Park, a Dark Sky Park since 2016, and where, on Oct. 14 a 'ring of fire' will be visible for about 3 mins 42 secs. However, there's an argument to stay in Ely because the town's Ring of Fire Eclipse Festival (Oct. 11-16) will include trail rides, a pub crawl, pumpkin chucking, a talk on Nevada's UFO history and — perhaps best of all — the Nevada Northern Railway will take passengers on a special eclipse-viewing ride on a century-old steam locomotive. NASA and San Francisco's Exploratorium will also be live-streaming the event from the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark. Organizers are also promising a secure area for photographers away from crowds. 

8. 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse glamping weekend retreat

Needles District, Canyonlands National Park. (Image credit: Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner via Getty Images)

Location: Glamping Canyonlands​, The Needles district, Canyonlands National Park, Monticello, Utah (map)

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:34 a.m. MDT, 0 mins 0 seconds (edge effects)

On the northern edge of the path of annularity, this event on a 22-acre glamping resort south of Moab, Utah should intrigue those that have seen a 'ring of fire' before and want to see something new. Just into the remote Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, this three-day private all-inclusive event (Oct. 15-17, 2023) includes a converted school bus bar, a professional chef preparing a starlit dinner, an astronomy tour and cocktails. However, don't overlook the 0 mins 0 secs 'ring of fire'. What it actually means is you'll see a 'broken annular' eclipse around the sun instead of a classical 'ring of fire' during which Baily's beads — usually only seen during a total solar eclipse — will be present fizzing around the moon for a few minutes. It's the ideal warm-up to April 8, 2024. 

9. Solar Eclipse Festival 2023, Hutchings Museum Institute

Location: Hutchings Museum Institute, Lehi, Utah (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 10:28 a.m. MDT, partial eclipse solar only

Be careful because this one is about 60 miles north of the northern limit of the path of annularity, so what you'll see is not a 'ring of fire,' but an 88% partial solar eclipse. The celestial event will be marked at Hutchings Museum Institute with free eclipse glasses, viewing guides, solar science kits, experiments and activities in partnership with Starnet Libraries and NASA Science — but it's only a 150 miles north of where a 'ring of fire' lasting 4 mins 38 secs will be visible from Sevier, Utah.  

10. Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center

Location: Reno, Nevada (map

Time and duration of 'ring of fire': 9:21 a.m. MDT, 85% partial eclipse only

Details are few, but the Fleischmann Planetarium in Reno, Nevada will be staging a public event. However, tempting that might be, it only gets a big partial solar eclipse. For a glimpse of a 'ring of fire', drive 117 miles north of Reno to Rye Patch State Recreation Area. Drive another 50 miles to the center of the path just north of Winnemucca for a 'ring fire' lasting 4 mins 35 secs.

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Jamie Carter
Contributing Writer

Jamie is an experienced science, technology and travel journalist and stargazer who writes about exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses, moon-gazing, astro-travel, astronomy and space exploration. He is the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners, and is a senior contributor at Forbes. His special skill is turning tech-babble into plain English.