9 Total Eclipse Celebrations Across the Country

When the celestial phenomenon sweeps across the U.S. on Monday, these cities and towns are taking advantage of their stellar view.

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Where will you be for the only solar eclipse the U.S. has seen since 1979? Unless you’re in the 70-mile-wide path of totality that stretches across the country, you won’t be able to see the total eclipse in all its glory. Some eclipse-seekers will even hear Bonnie Tyler sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise liner as they observe the phenomenon at sea.  

Here are some options for the rest of us on land when the eclipse hits on Monday: 

The Oregon Solarfest in Madras, Oregon 

Oregon Solar Fest Logo

Oregon is the first state in the contiguous U.S. to witness the event. This six-day festival in Madras features musical acts, hot air balloon rides, camping, and a Native American cultural experience. Nearby Madras High School will host a separate viewing on their football field with talks from Lowell Observatory.  




The Glendo Total Solar Eclipse in Glendo, Wyoming 

This free festival offers eclipse viewers an open spot to see the phenomenon as well as astronomy talks sponsored by the National Solar Observatory. Eclipse tourists can also venture to the Glendo State Park where the standard day fee applies.  



150 Years Festival in Lathrop, Missouri 


Couples hoping to elope during the eclipse can do so for $100 at the 150 Years Festival in Lathrop, Missouri. The price includes admission for two witnesses. The town’s sesquicentennial festival will also feature a hoedown, food trucks, and a special dining experience.  



Capital Eclipse Celebration in Jefferson City, Missouri 

Missouri’s capital will ring in the eclipse with a drum circle and a gong bath — a ceremony using “vibrational sound and frequency to help reduce stress, alter consciousness and create a deep sense of peace and well-being for better health.” The Capital Eclipse Celebration also features the “Hotter ‘N’ Hell” 5K run and — of course — a tribute concert of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”  



The Hopkinsville Summer Salute Festival in Hopkinsville, Kentucky 

For the “point of greatest eclipse” — the spot where the moon will cover the sun for the longest amount of time — sky gazers are heading to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The Western Kentucky city is taking advantage of its once-in-a-lifetime popularity by throwing the Summer Salute festival.  



Music City Solar Eclipse in Nashville, Tennessee 

The entire city of Nashville will fall in the path of totality; therefore, it would be difficult to be in Music City on Monday with nothing to do. Honky-tonks and fine dining restaurants alike will host events, and Mayor Megan Barry will greet spectators at First Tennessee Park to see the celestial event before a Nashville Sounds game.  



OutaSight Festival in Rabun Gap, Georgia 

As the only Georgia county inside the path of totality, Rabun County is hosting a viewing party at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School with screens showing NASA’s broadcast of the eclipse. Rabun County includes towns like Dillard, Georgia — population 340 — that have never seen an influx of tourists the likes of which they are preparing for on Monday.  



Eclipse Fest in Long Creek, South Carolina 

Chattooga Belle Farm is hosting its own festival on the 138-acre tract at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The farm and distillery was owned by Groucho Marx as an orchard in a past life, and now it finds itself dead center in the path of eclipse totality. The festival will be complete with vendors, music, and booze along with scenic views of the mountains and the Chattooga River.  



Total Eclipse Weekend in Columbia, South Carolina 


Columbia has dubbed its experience “the longest total eclipse on the East Coast,” and the city will be celebrating its eclipse privilege with many “eclipseploitation” events. Local playwrights have written six 10-minute plays about the eclipse, and each one will feature two minutes of darkness as they are performed.  



For more information on the eclipse and safe viewing, visit NASA 

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  1. Well Nicholas, unlike the last solar eclipse in 1979 (when most people still had common sense) we’ll no doubt be hearing stories of vision loss and/or blindness following this one, despite the warnings of that very thing. Here are some likely examples:

    “Gosh, I didn’t think just a few minutes would hurt; now my wife and our three kids can’t see a darn thing because of that damn eclipse!”

    “I’m only 18, a freshman, and I wanted to get into the frats so bad. They told me the initiation was easy; all I had to do was stare at the solar eclipse—without the protective eye gear they were wearing, so I said sure, what’s the harm? It’s just that I can’t see now—but I passed the initiation with flying colors! That’s the important thing, right? Right?? Why isn’t anybody saying anything??!”

    “I’m a 6 year old boy, just starting the first grade here in the Los Angeles Unified School District. My teacher (who wears flip-flops, pj bottoms and a tank top) said to us: “If you kids like don’t want to like wear the eyegear from the box, you totally like DON’T have to. The colors like clash with my tank top, so I say like ‘now way’ dudes! I have to like look good on Facebook!”

    August 22nd: “It’s me again. Well almost all of us students kept the protective eyewear on the whole time. Our teacher did not, was in tears that she can’t see now, was screaming “This is like so UNFAIR to me” and is now on Paid Administrative Leave after having to be restrained violently (airline style) handcuffed, and removed in front of the entire class.

    It’s too bad of course, but I didn’t really like this teacher. I’m sure I’ll like the next one better. At least I hope so. This IS the LAUSD we’re talking about though, so I’m not holding my breath!”


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