NewsSolar Eclipse 2024


Here's how Hillsboro plans to create memories for a lifetime during the eclipse

Posted at 9:38 AM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 10:38:24-04

HILLSBORO, Texas — "I’m always into wanting to beautify and clean up," said Karen Smith, a volunteer at Operation Welcome Mat.

That’s all Karen Smith needed to hear to sign up for Operation Welcome Mat. It’s a group of women in Hillsboro who banded together to make the town a friendly place to watch the April 8th Solar Eclipse.

“Identifying places in town that needed cleaning up trash, gravel, whatever we saw," Smith said.

“We have flags American flags, that will line all the major arteries in town. We've got a sign to direct visitors to where they can get hospitality. Everybody's going to need restrooms, food, nice things to see," Chamber Executive Director Lynette Hearrell said.

"A big map that all our visitors can mark they're where they came from," volunteer Natasha Sawyer said.

The group started their weekly gatherings in January. They picked out a well-known home furniture item to define their friendly city and personalities.

“Collect rocking chairs, to make it look at home on the front porch at our visitors center, our Welcome center," Smith said.

Hearrell told me Hillsboro is known to create memories of a lifetime — and Operation Welcome Mat wants to carry on that tradition.

"Our city also has an incredible amount of historical photos from the 18th and early 1900's of when we were much larger, and I'm hoping to catch some amazing packed downtown pictures so that we can renew that that great moment together," Hearrell said.