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Celebrate the Solar Eclipse 2017 With a Watch Party in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Celebrate the Solar Eclipse 2017 With a Watch Party in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The watch party is being held at the park’s highest point,, 6644 feet above sea level.

 

If you have not already booked your solar eclipse travel for August 21st, fear not , you have time.

For the first time in 38 years,,, the continental US will be exposed to its first total solar eclipse. In fact,, the continental US is the only landmass to see the TOTAL solar eclipse on August 21. And while hotels and campgrounds are filling up like wildfire,,, and have been for about a year —- there is still a chance to book tickets to see the eclipse at its finest. Some states are celebrating with a vineyard tour turned eclipse party while Illinois is giving the Girl Scouts the chance to be the center of the action. But Tennessee and North Carolina have more natural plans. The entire western half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,,, which straddles the states’ border, fall under the path of eclipse totality, and to celebrate, the park is hosting a space-fantastic viewing party …

The park’s highest point, Clingmans Dome , will be closed to vehicles, and it’s parking lot will instead serve as a special events site, complete with a Jumbotron to  showcase the live NASA broadcast. Visitors will also have access to telescopes, exhibits, and featured speakers to help explain the science of the total eclipse. Tickets have gone on sale on March 1st and cost $30. We are thrilled that the park lies within the narrow viewing band of this spectacular natural phenomenon said Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan. He further stated —- I am thrilled to view my first total eclipse from the top of the Smokies in the company of a passionate group of visitors.

Since the park will be busing visitors in who are registered for the Clingmans Dome event, you will likely avoid the traffic jams expected in the park in August, the parks busiest month even without a once in a lifetime celestial event. If you do not want to shell out $30 for the experience — eclipse viewing glasses included — the park does have two other free viewing points,,,, Cades Cove and Oconaluftee. But if you are risking it without a reservation, be warned — you should have a back up plan in case you get stuck  in traffic during the eclipse’s totality point.

As Tyler Moss , a reporter, has stated —-seeing a total eclipse can be striking, to say the least. Imagine standing outside in the afternoon heat of a summer day when the world suddenly goes dark. The temperature drops 10 -15 degrees and when you look up at the sun,,, in it’s place is a pitch black hole surrounded by an electric- white gossamer ring — known as the corona. Bright planets and stars shine vibrantly , and a twilight glow fills the horizon. So prepare for what to many is a once in a lifetime occurrence — and what many also describe as a religious experience.

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