As tourists descend on St. Joe for eclipse, some locals leave town

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- This weekend people from all over the world will descend on St. Joseph, the countdown is on for Monday’s total lunar eclipse. St. Joe will be one of the best places on the planet to watch the eclipse, but some longtime locals say they want no part of it.

“I`m driving northwest or southeast as far away as St. Joe as I can get,” Jeff Zuptich told FOX 4.

Zuptich says he’s not a fan of big crowds and will go camping out-of-state. Jordan Hamilton, a tattoo artist at True Blue Tattoo, agrees.

“Yeah, I`m ready for it to be over with for sure,” Jordan said. “Everyone`s saying not to go out on Monday because it`s going to be too busy.”

Other longtime locals said they’ve been annoyed by the crowds and a recent uptick in things like gas prices. FOX 4 didn’t see any gas stations with prices significantly higher than other parts of the state, however.

“We’ve been joking, telling people to prepare for Monday like it’s a big ice storm,” joked Beth Conway at the St. Joseph’s Visitors Bureau. “Run out now and get all of your milk, bread, and eggs so you can just stay home on Monday.”

The St. Joe’s Visitor Bureau is just about done moving into a new office, with an impressive new social media headquarters, for all of the worldwide attention on Monday.

“My dad ran into some guys from Ireland. They are coming from everywhere,” Conway said.

Jennie Capps is selling eclipse merchandise under a tent at a downtown parking lot.

“I had some Norwegian customers today, they wanted T-shirts that said ‘St. Joe’ on them,” Capps said.

Jean-Luc Bevierre and Yves-Marie Egu traveled all the way from Paris, France to witness the eclipse in St. Joseph.

“I tried to do this in 1999, in France, but it was cloudy, so, nothing to see,” Bevierre said.

So what if it’s cloudy again on Monday, with not much to see?

“I don`t know. go to some bar, have a drink and say, `maybe next time`,” said Egu.

“I know that there is another one in April of 2024, so we’ll just try again in seven years,” added Bevierre.