The total solar eclipse that will put some portions of Kentucky in prime viewing area is seven months away, and tourism officials are in high gear preparing for the influx of visitors.
By a coincidental act of nature, Hopkinsville is the bullseye for the total solar eclipse on August 21 that will last for two-minutes-and-40-seconds at the peak time. But the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth and cast a darkness in cities from Paducah to Scottsville for times ranging from one-minute-13-seconds to two-minutes-39-seconds.
The Simpson County Tourism Commission already has events scheduled around both the scientific and festival nature of the Eclipse. It begins with telescope making workshops for middle and high school students on Feb. 8 and 9.
“The telescopes that they make will be given to the local schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and the housing authority senior center,” said Joanna Drake, a spokeswoman for the tourism commission.
Drake said a Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Aug. 21 at the Franklin Drive-In theater will take advantage of the nearly full peak viewing time.
“The total solar eclipse in Franklin will be at 1:26 p.m. The totality duration will last two-minutes-and-34-seconds at the drive-in location, and we are only about six seconds shy of Hopkinsville at that location.”
The Franklin Drive-In can accommodate 500 cars. If there’s an overflow crowd, the event can expand to an adjoining field.