American Eclipse – The Future Looks Bright
The “Great American Eclipse” on Monday, August 21, 2017, will be the first transcontinental, total eclipse that passes from coast-to-coast has not occurred in almost a century since June 8, 1918.
The celestial rarity has provided plenty of opportunity for small businesses in area across the country that are projected to have the best views. The savviest of them are taking full advantage by offering hotel packages, viewing parties and “eclipse” menus (featuring food items such as blackened catfish and Blue Moon beer).
As doctors have warned against looking at the sun without eye protection during the solar eclipse, sales have skyrocketed for companies such as American Paper Optics, which has produced 37 million eclipse viewing glasses, according to USA Today.
In Oregon, the first state to experience the celestial oddity, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will play the Hillsboro Hops in a day game that will be delayed to watch the eclipse. The Volcanoes’ EclipseFest offers game packages and special events, including evening fireworks displays and a BrewFest during the weekend.
Tiny Hopkinsville, KY, has taken on the nickname “Eclipseville.” In the Western Kentucky town, the Christian Way Farm’s eclipse viewing package includes parking, a viewing spot, and access to all Farm activities (feeding animals, play areas, mini-golf, and additional events.)
Nashville, the biggest city in the direct path of the eclipse, will experience the celestial phenomenon for two minutes. The city has set up a special page on VisitMusicCity.com promoting eclipse-related events this weekend. For instance, AJ’s Goodtime Bar is hosting a viewing party that includes viewing glasses, T-shirt, BBQ lunch and two drink tickets. The Holiday Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt has teamed with Scholastic to host a free, kid-focused viewing party for guests. Meanwhile, the Grand Ole Opry presents The Sun, The Moon, The Opry Stars, with country music icons Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, and Wynonna.
Columbia, SC, is promoting Total Eclipse Weekend, which features more than 120 eclipse-related festivals and events from Aug. 18 to 21.
Entrepreneurs in small towns across states from Oregon to Georgia are promoting eclipse-related events and memorabilia. Airbnb is reporting more than 1,400 bookings in the state of Nebraska, a state where many towns do not even have a hotel. CNBC reports that hotels across the country are charging up to five times the typical overnight rate. Similarly, airlines have up the prices for flights to places like Nashville and rental car places have also increased their fees in areas of the country where tourists are expected to visit for a better view of the eclipse.
The eclipse is a demonstration of how a natural event – the Great American Eclipse — can become a text book exercise in American ingenuity.