Hopkinsville, Ky. A farm just outside Hopkinsville has the distinction of being considered the “point of greatest eclipse,” which means that from the center of the earth, the moon makes its closest path across the sun there, giving viewers the best view of the solar corona, which some say looks like a bright diamond ring. Brooke Jung, who is coordinating Hopkinsville’s eclipse marketing efforts, says the eclipse is the most exciting thing to happen to the town — which they are now branding “Eclipseville” — since the same date (Aug. 21) in 1955, when a dozen “little green men” allegedly landed nearby in a spaceship.
In addition to their annual Little Green Men Days festival, which commemorates the extraterrestrial occurrence that supposedly inspired the 1982 film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” eclipse chasers can drink moonshine at two bourbon distilleries, attend a Comic-Con event, and take in the Friday night bluegrass jam at the nearby Rosine Barn. Ms. Jung says that the county has closed schools for the day, ordered 100,000 pairs of solar eclipse glasses ($1 each), and has requested 85 members of the National Guard to direct traffic.
“It’s like us and the other towns in the center of the path of totality are preparing to host a Super Bowl,” she said.
Jefferson City, Mo. Capital Eclipse Village, in northern Jefferson City is the center of the action, with live music, art installations, circus-style performances, beer and wine stands and children’s activities. The site Capital Eclipse (capitaleclipse.org) lists programming there and elsewhere in Jefferson City. The total eclipse is expected at 1:14 p.m. for 2 minutes 29 seconds.
Lincoln, Neb. Haymarket Park, near the city center, is one of the largest viewing sites in the area. On the day of the eclipse, professors from the University of Nebraska’s department of physics and astronomy will set up sun-viewing telescopes and…