For the first time in nearly 100 years (99, to be exact), the USA will experience a total solar eclipse. The first exclusive-to-the-USA total eclipse since America’s founding in 1776 – or what scientists are calling the Great American Total Solar Eclipse – will occur on August 21, beginning at 9:04 a.m. PDT in Oregon and crossing the country over Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina before moving out into the Atlantic Ocean at 4:06 p.m. EDT. The eclipse will end off the coast of Africa.
In 1918, the eclipse started in Washington State and passed over Denver, Colorado; Jackson, Mississippi; and Orlando, Florida before heading out over the Atlantic Ocean.
The 2017 eclipse’s path of totality – when the sun is completely covered by the moon – will be 67 miles wide as it journeys across the USA, and day will turn into night for up to three minutes along the path when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. Outside of the path of totality, a partial solar eclipse will be visible.
Millions of people across the country will be able to witness the total solar eclipse without traveling far, and many other skywatchers are planning to travel to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event.
To celebrate the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, events are planned along the path of totality. Here, we take a look at some of those events across the country, starting in Oregon. For a current list of events leading up to and on August 21, please visit nationaleclipse.com. If you can’t watch the total solar eclipse in person, don’t despair – watch a live stream on August 21 with NASA.
Safety note: According to space.com, “Anyone planning to view the total solar eclipse of 2017 should get a pair of solar viewing glasses. These protective shades make it possible for observers to look directly at the sun before and after totality. Sunglasses cannot be used in place of solar viewing glasses.” For more safety tips, please read “How to View a Solar Eclipse Without Damaging Your Eyes” on space.com.
Eclipse begins in Madras at 9:06 a.m. Totality begins at 10:19 a.m. and ends at 10:21 a.m. Eclipse ends at 11:41 a.m. (all times PDT).
Keizer: Go out to the ball game when the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes play the Hillsboro Hops during the Volcanoes EclipseFest. With a starting time of 9:35 a.m. on August 21, the game will feature the first-ever “eclipse delay” in baseball history.
Kimberly/rural Oregon: While the total eclipse will be visible from all of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Painted Hills and Sheep Rock Units are both directly under the center line of the eclipse. If you can’t make it there, however, don’t fret – the Clarno Unit is still within range of totality.
Seneca: Guests who book the Total Eclipse of the Sun Package at Silvies Valley Ranch in Seneca will be transported to the path of totality for a guided viewing of the eclipse with a professional astronomer.
Eclipse begins in Idaho Falls at 10:15 a.m. Totality begins at 11:33 a.m. and ends at 11:34 a.m. Eclipse ends at 12:54 p.m. (all times MDT).
Mackay Valley: Five days of eclipse fun are planned for the Mackay Solar Eclipse Campout, August 17-22. Expect live music, games, food vendors and a mobile planetarium – and, of course, total eclipse viewing on a private ranch – all in a family-friendly camping environment.
Menan: Just 20 miles from Idaho Falls, watch the total eclipse with 360-degree views from 500 feet at the rim an extinct volcano at South Menan Butte. Parking and camping spots are available.
Victor: An intimate group of just 50 will enjoy brunch at Dreamcatcher Bed and Breakfast while watching the total eclipse as it passes over the Teton Valley on August 21.
Eclipse begins in Casper at 10:22 a.m. Totality begins at 11:42 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m. Eclipse ends at 1:09 p.m. (all times PDT).
Jackson: From a butte 1,000 feet above downtown Jackson, join the Total Eclipse Sky Party (open to the public) at Spring Creek Ranch on August 21. A gourmet brunch and complimentary beverages will be served, and a presentation by a Wyoming Stargazing Astronomer and one-on-one interpretation from three exclusive resident naturalists will be available. Proceeds from a silent auction for prime time rights to the ranch’s high end telescope will benefit Wyoming Stargazing.
Jackson Hole: Add to the exhilaration of viewing the total eclipse from the rapids of the Snake River with Mad River Boat Trips’ Solar Eclipse Special. Along the eight-mile trip through class I, II and III rapids, you’ll stop for lunch and eclipse viewing at Mad River’s exclusive riverside camp.
Jackson Hole: For a walk on the wild side during the total eclipse, join Wildlife Expeditions of Teton Science Schools for a three-, four-, or five-day Multi-day Solar Eclipse Expedition from Jackson Hole into Grand Teton National Park. Or, opt for the Single-day Solar Eclipse Expedition. Whichever you choose, on August 21, you’ll go to the perfect spot within the park for eclipse viewing.
Eclipse begins in Lincoln at 11:37 a.m. Totality begins at 1:02 p.m. and ends at 1:04 p.m. Eclipse ends at 2:29 p.m. (all times CDT).
Alliance: The USA’s own version of Stonehenge – Carhenge – is one of the spots to view the total eclipse in Nebraska on August 21. Over the course of the days leading up to the eclipse (August 17 – 21), portable planetarium showings, educational seminars and plenty of entertainment can be enjoyed by all.
Dannebrog: From August 17 – 21, the small community of Dannebrog will entertain visitors with its Danish, Pawnee and American cultural histories, complete with vendors, speakers and performers. On August 21, the festivities will culminate at two select viewing sites.
Lincoln: With a starting time of noon, the Lincoln Saltdogs will play the Gary Southshore Railcats in its Total Solar Eclipse Game on August 21. The first 3,500 fans will receive a special Eclipse Glasses Giveaway in anticipation of the total eclipse about an hour after the game starts.
Eclipse begins in Jefferson City at 11:46 a.m. Totality begins at 1:13 p.m. and ends at 1:15 p.m. Eclipse ends at 2:41 p.m. (all times CDT).
Jefferson City: The first total eclipse to pass over Missouri since 1869 will begin at 1:13 p.m. on August 21, and Jefferson City is ready with its Capital Eclipse Celebration. Beginning August 19, events throughout the weekend include a street party, brunch with an astronaut, live music and, of course, an eclipse viewing party.
St. Claire: The Darkening of the Sun Festival features Native American art, vendors and music over the course of four days, from August 18 to 21. Camping and day options are available to enjoy all of the live music, workshops, exhibits, demonstrations and fun to be had.
St. Louis: Schlafly Beer is hosting Schlafly’s Eclipse Field Trip from St. Louis to Bloomsdale, Missouri to view the total eclipse; the field trip runs from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. CDT. Whether you go on the field trip or not, you can toast the eclipse with Schlafly’s special edition Path of Totality 12-pack of its Helles-style lager.
Eclipse begins in Carbondale at 11:52 a.m. Totality begins at 1:20 p.m. and ends at 1:22 p.m. Eclipse ends at 2:47 p.m. (all times CDT).
Carbondale: Beginning August 18, a full line up of live music, a makers market and a Splash & Dash Paint Party lead up to the total eclipse viewing on August 21 at StarView Vineyards. You can even toast and commemorate the eclipse with a special label wine.
Carterville: It seems only appropriate the the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, be a part of eclipse celebrations, and he is in fact headlining the Moonstock Music Festival, August 18 – 21. Four-day, single-day and camping passes are available.
Eclipse begins in Paducah at 11:54 a.m. Totality begins at 1:22 p.m. and ends at 1:24 p.m. Eclipse ends at 2:49 p.m. (all times CDT).
Golden Pond: Sun and Moon Days at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area runs August 16 – 23, a week filled with planetarium shows, solar viewing, a star party, storytelling, canoe trips and, of course, eclipse viewing. Campsites are available, too.
Kelly: The four-day 7th Annual Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival kicks off at 5 p.m. August 18 and features live music, arts and crafts, exhibits, costume contests and, of course, eclipse viewing on August 21.
Eclipse begins in Nashville at 11:58 a.m. Totality begins at 1:27 p.m. and ends at 1:29 p.m. Eclipse ends at 2:54 p.m. (all times CDT).
Friendsville: Everyone loves tailgating, and Pellissippi State Community College is inviting everyone to take part in its community and college-wide eclipse watch party, Tailgating in Totality. From noon to 3 p.m. CDT on August 21, “the largest solar eclipse tailgate in the world” will be held, and it’s free.
Nashville: Nashville is the largest city that the eclipse will cross over during its coast-to-coast trip across the USA, and the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown is joining in the celebration. Guests of the hotel will be able to go to an exclusive viewing party in Skye, the hotel’s private penthouse event space.
Eclipse begins in Clayton at 1:06 p.m. Totality begins at 2:35 p.m. and ends at 2:38 p.m. Eclipse ends at 4:01 p.m. (all times EDT).
Blairsville: Toast to the eclipse with a special release wine from Paradise Hills Resort and Winery during their Solar Eclipse Celebration from 2 – 6 p.m. EDT on August 21.
Tallulah Falls: The Solar Eclipse Festival at Tallulah Gorge State Park is short (1 – 3 p.m. EDT) but sweet at the park’s Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center. Additional eclipse viewing areas can be found throughout the park.
Toccoa: The Totally Toccoa street party will be held in downtown Toccoa from noon to 3 p.m. EDT on August 21, complete with live music, food vendors, giveaways and a live-stream of the NASA presentation inside the Historic Ritz Theatre.
Eclipse begins in Columbia at 1:03 p.m. Totality begins at 2:41 p.m. and ends at 2:44 p.m. Eclipse ends at 4:06 p.m. (all times EDT).
Columbia: The bats of the Columbia Fireflies will likely light up when the eclipse starts to darken the field during the Total Eclipse of the Park game against the Rome Braves. An eclipse glasses giveaway will ready fans for 2:41 p.m. EDT, when the eclipse will pass over the field for 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
Hopkins: While eclipse viewing at Congaree National Park is not prime – the park is mostly dense forest, there are other things to experience during Shadows and Science in the Wilderness August 19 – 21. On August 21, guided solar eclipse hikes ranging from one to 10 miles roundtrip will be offered, and reservations are required.
Pickens: If you’re up for sun salutations doing the total eclipse, Under One Sun is for you. The overnight yoga celebration includes food, camping, meals, yoga classes and more – including eclipse viewing.
To better understand and prepare for the total solar eclipse, please visit the NASA website, or greatamericaneclipse.com.
Editor’s note: Eclipse and totality times via space.com.