In Your Backyard: The Sight of a Lifetime


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By: Catherine Royka

Maps courtesy of Michael Zeiler,  

Millions of Americans will be heading outside on Monday, August 21 to see the long-awaited total solar eclipse. It has almost been 500 years since this area has experienced a total solar eclipse like this. And guess what Sumner County? We are one of the top destinations to have the best view of this spectacular total solar eclipse, with almost two minutes and forty seconds of totality (darkness) in most places across Tennessee.

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If you are not familiar with a total solar eclipse, it is remarkable in that the moon will almost completely block the sun for a period of time, yet the sun and moon are not close to the same size as all, although they may look like they are in the sky. This will occur during the day time, and the moon will completely block the sun for a period of time and the sky will turn dark. The path of totality is only seventy miles wide, touches no land outside the United States, with Nashville as the largest city in its path. Across Middle Tennessee, the time of complete totality will occur just before 1:30pm, with partial eclipse sighting before noon and close to 3pm.

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Tennessee is one of the few (and lucky) states that will be able to see this. The Great American Eclipse can only be seen from twelve select states, with less than three minutes of totality in every state. States that can view this special eclipse include, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Great American Eclipse estimated that Tennessee is the closest destination for 55 million Americans, with a possible 360,000 to 1,440,000 people traveling to Tennessee on eclipse day.

Where can you see this remarkable sight you might ask? We’ve highlighted a couple places sponsored by the Sumner County chambers and Visit Sumner County that are having celebrations and watch parties to see the solar eclipse.



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This event has been in the works for a while and will include a special musical performance from Kimberly Locke (Sumner County native), second runner up in the 2003 American Idol season. The day begins at 9am with a yoga session taught by Romy Kirby, followed by hours of music, food trucks, local vendors and a kid’s zone. Safety glasses will be provided to participants for properly viewing the eclipse. The estimated time of the eclipse will begin at 1:27pm, RSVP on Eventbrite to ensure you have a ticket to this can’t-miss eclipse viewing event. Visit for more event information.



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The City of Goodlettsville and Goodlettsville Area Chamber of Commerce are hosting a kick-off party on Sunday evening before their eclipse party on Monday. The community is encouraged to come out for music and food trucks on the grounds of the Bowen House in Moss-Wright Park from 5-7pm. The “Get Eclipsed in Goodlettsville,” event on Monday, August 21 will also be held at Moss-Wright Park from 9am-4pm. Eclipse-goers will receive a free pair of protective glasses to view the eclipse. To cool things off, the Goodlettsville Fire Department will be hosting “water wars” at 10:30am. Visit for more event information.


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Leading up to the eclipse on Monday, August 21, there will be several activities over the weekend to prepare for the big event! On Saturday, August 19, a classic car show will be on display in downtown Portland, followed by a free Music on Main Street Concert featuring “Four on the Floor.” On Sunday evening, head to Main Street in Portland to dine at the Farm-to-Table dinner underneath string lights draped across downtown. On Eclipse day, various locations across Sumner County will be hosting viewing parties like, Sumner Crest Winery, Richland Park and Meadowbrook Park. Visit for more event information.


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Before their main event, The White House Area Chamber of Commerce and City of White House is hosting an Eclipse Movie night at the Soccer Complex. On August 20, they will be playing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Along with the movie, there will be costume contests, Jedi training, food and appearances by some special guests. The main event on August 21, Discover Totality, will feature live feeds from NASA, food trucks, live music and more at the Soccer Complex. Be on the lookout for more information at

Check out Visit Sumner County’s website, for updates on eclipse events around Sumner. For more information on the total solar eclipse, additional maps, facts and the best places to view the eclipse, visit

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