Indiana’s alcohol regulator on Monday told Hoosier businesses and local units of government alike to get applications in for eclipse-specific celebrations.

The state expects to welcome hundreds of thousands of out-of-state visitors for the April 8 event. Residents from further afield are also expected to travel closer to the path of totality.

“Excitement and interest are growing for the big event, and Hoosier communities and public safety agencies are planning for an influx” of people, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) said in releasing its eclipse guidance.

The ATC highlighted several alcohol-related provisions that Hoosier businesses can take advantage of on the big day:

  • Floor plans: The eclipse is considered a “social event,” meaning that retailers with permits can enlarge their grounds for the occasion. Temporary floor plan amendments to their licensed premises can let them include adjacent areas that don’t already have bars. The changes would be valid from 7 a.m. on April 8 to 3 a.m. on April 9.
  • Permits: Hoosiers can apply for temporary beer and wine permits, but eclipse-specific applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on April 5, the ATC said.
  • Club guests: Fraternal clubs can host events allowing non-members on their licensed premises.
  • Catering: Those with supplemental catering permits must submit a catering authority request by 4:30 on April 4, according to the ATC.

Municipalities can also get in on the entertainment through designated outdoor refreshment areas (DORAs).

But if they want the areas in time for the eclipse, they should “start the application process now” so that the ATC can approve the submissions in time.

“Local municipalities should also start securing and approving vendors for the DORA so there is plenty of time for the vendor to submit temporary beer and wine applications or supplemental catering requests to the ATC,” the agency said. That’s because vendors need local approval prior to going to the ATC.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, and completely blocks the face of the much larger sun. Hoosiers won’t be in another total solar eclipse’s path of totality until 2099.

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the eclipse will begin at approximately 1:45 p.m. Eastern on April 8 and end at about 4:30 p.m. Eastern. During this time, the sun will be partially obscured by the moon, and you should use special eclipse sunglasses to view the eclipse without risking permanent eye damage.

Totality is the most special stage of the eclipse and is the only period of time when you can observe the total eclipse without eclipse glasses. This stage will begin at roughly 3 p.m. Eastern in the southwestern part of the state and will be over within just a few minutes. Regardless of where you are in Indiana, by 3:15 p.m. Eastern, totality will be finished everywhere in the state.

According to VisitIndy, Indianapolis will see a total solar eclipse for 3 minutes and 46 seconds at 3:06 pm.

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