Monroe And Loudon Also Two Of Best Places To See The Great American Eclipse
That’s because a large part of it lies right in the path of what some are calling “The Great American Eclipse,” the first total eclipse in the USA in 99 years. Total darkness takes place early afternoon from Nashville to Knoxville, with two surrounding communities being identified by experts as among the best places in the country to be for this monumental event.
Those towns are Monroe just north of Nashville and Loudon, which is just to the south of Knoxville. They are directly in the so-called “path of totality.” Nashville is the largest city in America that will experience total darkness.
Tennessee and Tennesseans – as well as tens of thousands of visitors – are prepared and excited for this unique experience.
Motels and hotels have beens sold out for months. Solar glasses are hard to find; once a store gets them, they are gone in an hour. Officials are warning that traffic will be heavy in and around these areas before and after the eclipse.
Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in the two major cities in the path of the eclipse.
Nashville For The Solar Eclipse
Music City has more than 50 places listed on the Visit Nashville website for events, from parks to bars to breweries, distilleries and wineries. One is a free, multi-day festival, the Italian Lights Festival in Bicentennial Capitol Mall. Here, you can eat and drink your way through the eclipse. There’s also live music. This is an official NASA viewing site.
The Back Porch At Fontanel (4125 Whites Creek Pike), once the home of Barbara Mandrell and now open to the public, is hosting a viewing party from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Of course, there’s also the honky tonks on Broadway for those who want to feel like it’s nighttime in Nashville in the daytime (will they turn on the neon signs!?).
The solar eclipse beings at 11:58 a.m., (CDT), with the start of totality at 1:27, the end of totality of 1:29 p.m., and the partial eclipse ending at 2:54 p.m.
Knoxville For The Solar Eclipse
The eclipse will begin at 1 p.m., and last until 4, with totality being at 2:30 p.m. The main path of the eclipse is just south of Knoxville. Concord Park, Ft. Loudon Dam and several other places are holding eclipse parties (these are two of the best locations). All area schools are closed that day.
The southwestern half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park also will fall within the path of totality.
This includes Gatlinburg; the Park Vista Doubletree Hotel is hosting a free party from noon-3 with a band and a cash bar and Flapjacks Pancake House is giving away a free pair of solar glasses with breakfast.