City of Macomb Downtown Development and the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce are happy to announce that Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) are encouraging eclipse viewers to avoid driving and instead travel to Downstate Illinois on the Illinois DOT sponsored Carl Sandburg train which runs from Chicago to Macomb. The eclipse occurs on Monday, August 21.
Tickets are available for same-day trips to and from Chicago, LaGrange and Naperville to five Western Illinois cities with an estimated 90 percent or better eclipse coverage. According to Vox.com, the eclipse coverage rate for Macomb will be 95.2%. Bicycles are accepted on the Carl Sandburg to and from all stops by reservation and with a nominal charge.
Macomb has several events to offer including arrival into their historic downtown, free public transportation via the Go West bus system, Western Illinois University and a delightful variety of shops and restaurants that are near the train depot. Western Illinois University College of Fine Arts and Communication will be hosting a COFAC Eclipse Viewing Party on the campus featuring live music, food and more. The party will run from 12:30-2pm. After the party, tour the beautiful WIU campus, then return to Historic Downtown Macomb and visit our many shops and restaurants or take a self-guided tour of our Downtown Sculpture exhibit and our famous Rocky on Parade bulldogs. Maps for these features will be available at the train depot. There is also taxi service available from the depot.
See the attached for more information on restaurants and activities in Macomb on August 21.
HISTORIC DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS:
Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria – 221 N. Randolph St.
Open at 4PM, try some of the best pizza in Downstate Illinois. BONUS! Monday is half-price pizza night!!
Domino’s Pizza — 123 W. Calhoun St.
An American favorite, fast and friendly
Sports Corner @ 124 — 124 N. Randolph St.
Open at 4PM, this sports bar features a large variety of pub favorites
Sweet Shack 2.0 — 113 E. Carroll St.
Stop in and grab a sweet treat and some iced coffee
Sullivan Taylor Coffee House – 119 S. Randolph St.
Gourmet coffees, teas, and baked goods
Chick’s on the Square – 103 South Side Square
Stop in for some delectably spicy chicken “lips” and other unique fare.
Louie’s Family Diner – 118 S. Lafayette St.
A classic American diner
The Old Dairy – 210 S. Lafayette St.
A variety of fresh homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods.
DOWNTOWN SCULPTURE EXHIBIT AND ROCKY ON PARADE MAPS AVAILABLE AT DEPOT.
GETTING TO WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY (COFAC Eclipse Viewing Party)
Persons arriving in Macomb on the 10:58 am train can walk across the street to the City bus transfer and ride the MCPT/Go West bus. The Go West bus is fare free. For the trip to Hainline Theatre persons will need to get on route 16 North-West which leaves the City Center at 11:10am. This route will take persons to the Western Illinois University Campus and arrive at Hainline theater at approximately 11:24am. Riders will need to request off at the Browne Hall stop for Hainline Theatre (Eclipse viewing). For late arrivals or persons not wanting to head directly over to the Eclipse viewing, route 16 leaves the city center at :10 and :40 after each hour up until 3:40pm.
For the return trip from Hainline Theatre (eclipse viewing) to the city center, persons will want to be at the Browne Hall stop and catch one of the following routes:
16 NorthWest – departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 2:24pm to arrive at City Center at 2:40pm
departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 2:54pm to arrive at City Center at 3:10pm
departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 3:24pm to arrive at City Center at 3:40pm
departs Hainline Theatre(Browne Hall Stop) at 3:54pm to arrive at City Center at 4:10pm.
After the 3:54pm stop at Hainline Theatre, route 16 ends and persons will need to use Brown 5
Brown 5 – departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 4:37pm to arrive back at the City Center at 4:48pm (request off at Chandler Park stop)
-departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 5:07pm to arrive back at the City Center at 5:18pm (request off at Chandler Park stop)
-departs Hainline Theatre (Browne Hall Stop) at 5:37pm to arrive back at the City Center at 5:48pm (request off at Chandler Park stop)
The Carl Sandburg leaves Macomb to return to Chicago at approximately 6:18 pm. All routes above and other routes available to get around while you are in Macomb are posted at the City Bus Transfer Center or accessible online via at http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/go_west/routes/system.php#municipal