Bald Knob Cross opens doors to eclipse viewers - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Bald Knob Cross opens doors to eclipse viewers

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ALTO PASS -- In just seven months, thousands of people will flock to southern Illinois to view the solar eclipse. And what better place to view it than at one of the highest points in our region - Alto Pass.

The winds whip across this empty hill under the Bald Knob Cross of Peace, but with the solar eclipse rapidly approaching, plans are underway to make it one of the best places to view the event.

"It's the only place where we have unobstructed viewing, 360 degree viewing of the solar eclipse, we don't have any trees, we don't have anything up here that's obstructing the view," explains Bald Knob Cross Executive Director Teresa Gilbert.

Gilbert is currently selling tickets to give people a chance to view the solar eclipse, including casual viewers who simply want to take in the phenomenon.

"They will be able to catch a shuttle and ride a shuttle up and then we'll have another space reserved on the other side of the hillside for viewing for people in that category," she said.

For those with special equipment, a little more space is available.

A 10X10 foot box gives you the perfect amount of room to bring your camera and telescope so that way you can see the solar eclipse completely unobstructed, from the highest point in southern Illinois.

With 350 of the 10X10 spaces, and a hillside for other casual viewers, Gilbert has been working hard to make this iconic landmark a place to enjoy the eclipse. He adds that whether you've seen an eclipse before or not, this is going to be an event you won't soon forget.

"They tell me it's an amazing experience, kind of a once in a lifetime experience, that it's really hard to describe," she said. "I'm hoping we can provide that, the very best experience for people."

Gilbert says 30 tickets have already been sold. She also stresses that only ticket holders will be allowed at the Cross the day of the eclipse. All proceeds from the tickets sales will benefit project around the Cross. If you want to purchase tickets, click here.

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