The City of Hopkinsville is now “on the clock” in the countdown toward the 2017 North American Solar Eclipse, when the city will be in the worldwide spotlight as the “point of greatest eclipse” for the August 21, 2017 event. Preparations are underway for Hopkinsville and Christian County to host thousands of domestic and international visitors for the weekend leading up to Eclipse Monday.
As the “point of greatest eclipse,” Hopkinsville has the distinction of being the location where the moon blots out the most sun along the west-to-east eclipse path. Billed as the “most exciting two minutes in astronomy,” the 2017 Eclipse will occur in Hopkinsville at 1:25:29 CDT and will offer two minutes and 40 seconds of totality to local residents and guests from around the world.
The 2017 Eclipse will mark the first time since February 26, 1979 that a total solar eclipse has been visible from the contiguous United States. Next year’s eclipse will also be the first since 1918 with a path of totality stretching across the USA’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
Planning and “Pre-Eclipse” events are already underway in Hopkinsville.
This Friday and Saturday Hopkinsville will be buzzing with fun when the Inaugural Summer Salute festival, presented by Jennie Stuart Health, takes over downtown. Summer Salute is a two-day family celebration of music, food, vendors, attractions, chili cook-off, car show, road race and more in downtown Hopkinsville. All attractions are free, including the Summer Salute Saturday night wrap up concert by country stars Diamond Rio, six-time CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year. The Summer Salute website is www.hoptownsummersalute.com and contains the entire schedule of events.
Looking to 2017, Summer Salute will expand to a Friday-Sunday (August 18-20) celebration for visitors, topping the bill among a host of area weekend events leading up to Monday’s Solar Eclipse Day. In addition to the 2017 Summer Salute, Hopkinsville activities will include a rodeo, Kelly Little Green Men Days and a host of other attractions at area businesses.
“Hopkinsville, and our entire region, is thrilled to play host to this once-in-a-lifetime natural phenomenon. We are confident visitors from all over will enjoy our natural beauty, southern charm, and outstanding festivals and events like the Summer Salute Music Festival, Kelly Green Men Festival, the Cattlemen’s Lonestar Rodeo, and more,” were the words from Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks.
“We promise Eclipse chasers a time they won’t soon forget as we roll out the red carpet and showcase all our region has to offer.”
Last week the city also announced the addition of Brooke Jung to the Eclipse planning team to coordinate marketing and public relations efforts. Jung’s one-year contract position is jointly funded by city and county government. The Louisville native brings a wealth of special event and tourism marketing experience from her most recent role at the Christian County Chamber of Commerce and from previous experience with the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Louisville Sports Commission. Jung begins her duties September 6.
Also last week, highway signs were erected on major local thoroughfares featuring Hopkinsville’s trademarked Solar Eclipse logo. The six roadside signs welcome drivers to Hopkinsville, Home of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, with the event date below.
The local September Eclipse timeline includes the launch of the city’s official Eclipse Website at www.hopkinsvillesolareclipse2017.com, as well as a community forum to address questions and gather feedback about 2017 Solar Eclipse preparations.
For additional information about Hopkinsville Solar Eclipse planning, contact the Hopkinsville Division of Parks and Recreation at 270-887-4290.