With a little less than a year left before much of Western Kentucky becomes the epicenter of a total solar eclipse next August, the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism has created a Web page to inform visitors what to expect during this astronomical phenomenon. The page is Kentuckytourism.com/eclipse/.
In the United States, the eclipse, on Aug. 21, will begin in Oregon and touch parts of 12 states, including Kentucky.
The page provides direct links to tourism offices in communities that will feature prominently in the eclipse’s path and has information on lodging, restaurants and events. It also has a map of the path and optimal viewing locations and times.
“With thousands of visitors expected from all over the world, we wanted to create a clearinghouse of traveler information not only for the area most directly impacted, but also for the rest of the state,” Kristen Branscum, commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism, said in a statement. “This Web page creates an opportunity to not only promote the main event but also gives visitors an opportunity to learn about all the wonderful places to see in Kentucky.”
Areas in Western Kentucky will have the longest view of the total eclipse, while other parts of the state will see a partial eclipse. According to NASA, Hopkinsville will have the greatest viewing time, estimated at two minutes and 40 seconds. The eclipse is dubbed the Great American Eclipse because of its path from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts. A total eclipse won’t occur again over the continental United States until 2024. Many Western Kentucky communities are planning organized viewing opportunities and special events.
Kentucky communities in the path and featured on the Web page include Hopkinsville, Paducah, Eddyville, Princeton, Madisonville, Crofton, Kelly, Russellville, Bowling Green, Marion, Cadiz, Dawson Springs, Oak Grove, Scottsville, Kentucky Lake, Grand Rivers and Franklin.