INTERVIEW: Idaho Falls Mayor tells locals to “be patient and…smile” ahead of eclipse









Photo Courtesy: City of Idaho Falls

Rebecca Casper has served as Idaho Falls’ mayor since 2013. Mayor Casper sits on the Idaho Falls City Club Board of Directors. She and Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer for the city, joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to talk about the city’s plans for the upcoming eclipse and what they think the public needs to know, most.

Listen to the full interview below:



IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Just days away from the Great American Eclipse, the City of Idaho Falls is wrapping up final details and plans as the city prepares for an influx of people from across the world.

“I feel ready,” Mayor Rebecca Casper told KID Newsradio. “I have a lot of confidence in the forethought the first responders and the response teams have put into this.”

Logistics have been in the works for months and now officials are working to inform and prevent misinformation from spreading in the days leading up to the eclipse.

“I know there are well-intentioned people out there wanting to help and share the information, but it’s just like that old telephone [game,] you tell one person and that one person gets it a little wrong and tells it to another person and then it get’s really wrong,” Kerry Hammon, Public Information Office for the City of Idaho Falls, said. “We’re just encouraging people to reach out to our media partners, reach out to our official pages for information, because the information that we are sharing, we are sharing directly to you.”

But there’s one thing that can’t be planned on a spreadsheet or coordinated in a meeting: the local reception of tourists.

“Eastern Idaho is full of good, down-to-earth, normal people,” Casper said. “We certainly want to give that impression and use that kind of hospitality that we normally exude, we want to do that. But, it’s also at a business level. The state spends lots of money on eastern Idaho as a destination for tourism, a really great place to visit…this is a destination and we want to make sure that all of that investment in that hospitality at that level, that tourism level, is not wasted by people coming here and having a bad experience.”

Casper says it’s up to the people of eastern Idaho to show the very best of eastern Idaho.

“I think everybody’s going to understand that it’s crowded no matter where you’re from here and why it’s crowded, but we do need to try a little harder to be patient and to smile, to take a deep breath and to know, hey, we may not love the crowds, we may kind of resent everybody being in our way for a few days, but this is a tremendous opportunity to sell the place.”

Officials are reminding people to be prepared with food, water and whatever medications are needed from Wednesday, August 16 to Wednesday, August 23.

For the latest eclipse information and headlines, be sure to stay tuned into KID Newsradio and visit KID Newsradio’s official eclipse website.

Interested in the eclipse in East Idaho? Subscribe to our East Idaho Eclipse podcast, click the appropriate link below:

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