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Total eclipse: Hopkinsville readies for moment in sun

Kentucky community prepares for solar eclipse

It’s an event of astronomical proportions and Hopkinsville, Kentucky, is at the center of it all.

The southwestern Kentucky community is in the crosshairs of the narrow band of a rare total solar eclipse that will occur across the continental United States on August 21, 2017.  Though the eclipse will be visible along a path from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, thousands of solar eclipse watchers are expected to flock to Hopkinsville because the Christian County community is at the geographic point of greatest eclipse, at 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

A farm in the Bainbridge/Sinking Fork area of Christian County, just northwest of Hopkinsville, is the epicenter.

Projected solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Projected solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Click here for NASA map showing eclipse path.

In preparation, the City of Hopkinsville has unveiled its official Solar Eclipse website, Eclipseville.com, to help both residents and prospective guests.

“We are thrilled to have this awesome resource up and running for folks around the world to gain information about watching the Solar Eclipse from the best place on earth” Brooke Jung, Solar Eclipse Marketing and Events consultant said.  “This will truly be a tool to answer questions and spark excitement for eclipse chasers of all ages.”

The website has categories focused on accommodations, events, public viewing areas, science of the eclipse, eclipse fun, media inquiries, eclipse merchandise, and information about Hopkinsville, in addition to others. Jung hopes the site will be a clearinghouse for questions about viewing the phenomenon.

One critical feature of the site is housed under the accommodations tab, which enables local residents to list their property or house for rent during eclipse weekend. A resident can specify if their lodging is in-house, campsite, RV parking, or just a viewing area for the eclipse itself. Residents can include photos, amenities and geographic location as well as any additional benefits to their location. For a $15 listing fee, the location will be listed on the official eclipse website and will allow visitors to contact residents directly to secure their lodging while they are in town.

The events calendar is another highly-anticipated feature of the site, offering a complete listing of events taking place leading up to the eclipse. Eclipseville.com also offers a form that can be completed online if community organizations would like to add an event to the official eclipse event calendar. No cost is associated to list community events.

Public forum set for October 3, 2016
Jung has briefed community leaders on eclipse marketing efforts and plans a public forum on Monday, October 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Thomas Street Rec Center in  Hopkinsville.

“We will be answering questions and providing an overview of all things eclipse,” Jung says.

 Joe Arnold

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