On August 21st, a history-making eclipse will cover some parts of the United States in complete darkness. If you're not in the direct path of totality, but don't mind taking a quick roadtrip, there are some wonderful all-American cities hosting festivals, concerts, and fairs to celebrate the big day. Here are a few places where you can snag the best view of the celestial event.
Duration: 2 minutes, 36 seconds
Columbia has already dubbed itself the "Total Solar Eclipse Capital of the East Coast," and for good reason. It’s one of the largest cities on the Eastern seaboard in the path of totality and it’s planning a huge weekend of more than 100 eclipse-related festivals to celebrate the big day including space-themed performances from the SC Philharmonic and a Columbia Fireflies baseball game taking place during the eclipse. The Columbia Motor Speedway will be the only race track holding a total eclipse viewing party, and the city has a number of public spaces hosting smaller events.
Duration: 2 minutes, 26 seconds
Come August 21st, the city of Casper, Wyoming will be marching to find the best vantage point to view the history-making eclipse. It won’t be hard to get a good spot. With an altitude over 5,000 feet and high probability of clear skies, it’s one of the best places to take in the celestial sight. It's also home to the 2017 Astrocon, the national convention of the Astronomical League. The conference will host talks on future missions to explore the cosmos, new technology being used to further our understanding of space, and a few star parties as well.
Duration: 1 minute, 55 seconds
Nashville holds the honor of being the largest city in the path of the eclipse, so of course, the birthplace of country music has plans to go big. Adventure Science Center will host a music and technology festival from the 19th - 21st, while The Grand Ole Opry will be hosting Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Wyonna, and Charles Esten on August 20th. The next day, they will have a free Total Eclipse Plaza Party. Every park in the city as well as the zoo and public waterways have some kind of festivities going on so there should be something to interest you besides the sun.
Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds
Madras, Oregon may not have been on your travel bucket list before today, but if you want to get the full experience of the solar eclipse, it should be on your radar. The tiny town is being hailed as one of the best places to view the event thanks in part to its high desert scenery. Who wouldn’t want to watch a natural phenomenon and enjoy panoramic views of the magnificent Cascade Mountain Range? The city has set up a campground along the centerline dubbed “solartown” where outdoor enthusiasts can hang out and wait for the show.
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