Where Will You Be for the Solar Eclipse on August 21st?

By Laura Love:

Northeast Georgia is along the path of the total solar eclipse crossing the United States, from Pacific to Atlantic coasts, on August 21, 2017. All areas of the contiguous United States will see a partial shadowing of the sun by the moon. However, only people who are in the line of totality – the 70-mile wide actual shadow of the moon – will experience mid-night darkness during the middle of the day, detect the diaphanous corona around the sun and see the stars that are usually hidden by the sun’s light.

The line of totality roughly follows a course across the United States beginning in Newport, OR and passing through Casper, WY, Columbia, MO, Nashville, TN, northeast GA and ending in Charleston, SC.

In Georgia, total eclipse is around 2:35 pm, but the sky begins to darken around 1 pm and the eclipse sequence ends around 4 pm. Areas in Georgia northeast of a line running from Blue Ridge through Cleveland, Cornelia, Royston, and Elberton will be in the umbra of the eclipse and have from a few seconds to 2 minutes 38 seconds of the moon covering the sun.

The closer a location is to the center of the line of totality, the longer the total eclipse lingers in the sky overhead. For instance, Blue Ridge is on the southern edge of the line of totality, so it will only have 36 seconds of the total eclipse. Blairsville is closer to the center, so it will have 1 minute 59 seconds for the eclipse. Dillard is right in the center of the line of totality, so it will have 2 minutes 38 seconds of total darkness.

Many people call total solar eclipses a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic spectacle, and they are not embellishing it. The last time a total solar eclipse passed over northeast Georgia was in 1506 and the next time will be in 2200.
So where will you be for the solar eclipse?

Before you set out on your own eclipse adventure or hook up an organized eclipse event, there are a few things to keep in mind.

• Bring something to view the eclipse with. The only time you can look directly at the eclipse is when the moon covers the ENTIRE sun. During the partial phase of the eclipse, even though it is already getting dark and even though the moon has hidden part of the sun, you will still be looking at the mid-day sun and the sun’s UV light can burn your retina. There are numerous on-line sites selling eclipse viewing glasses and devices.

• Choose a place with an open vista. The eclipse will approach from the northwest and head toward the southeast. So, an area that is open in these directions is a good choice. Remember that most locations in the line of totality are in heavily tree-covered mountains, so you don’t want to end up in a location that has a narrow slice of sky between mountains and trees. Look for a field. Hwy. 515, which runs east across north Georgia, may not be the most beautiful location but most areas around it are open.

If you are looking for natural surroundings, taking a boat or a kayak out on one of northeast Georgia’s lakes may be a good option. Also, several hiking trails in north Georgia have high open vistas. These trails include: Mount Yonah (Helen), Brasstown Bald (Blairsville), Blood Mountain (between Blairsville and Cleveland), Rabun Bald (Rabun County) and Black Rock Mountain State Park (Mountain City)

• About three days before the eclipse, check the weather forecast for where you want to be. You don’t want to have clouds between you and the sun and moon when the magic minutes arrive.

• Tens of thousands of people are expected to be in northeast Georgia for the eclipse. In other words, if you think you can jump in your car mid-morning August 21st and easily drive up to the eclipse area, you may not make it in time.

• All areas of Georgia will have a partial eclipse, but only northeast Georgia will see the moon completely cover the sun.
North GA Guide has gathered a list eclipse events throughout north Georgia and a few that are just across the state line in North Carolina and Tennessee. We will periodically update this list as many communities are still finalizing their eclipse celebrations.

Fannin County
–  McCaysville – time 2:34, duration 1 minute 34 seconds
– Blue Ridge – time 2:34, duration 36 seconds
No events advertised as of May 10, 2017

Union County
Blairsville – time 2:24, duration 1 minute 59 seconds
– Blairsville Eclipse Experience – Aug. 21 – location to be determined visitblairsvillega.com
– Get Off The Grid – Aug. 18, 19, 20 Union County Arena – an earthly festival for renewable energy, sustainable lifestyle, safe food, wellness and brilliant homegrown music. getoffthegridfest.com
– Crossing Creeks RV Resort and Spa – Aug 21 , 12-4 pm. – Hamburgers and hotdogs plus eclipse viewing glasses. crossingcreeksrvresort.com
– Paradise Hills Winery Resort and Spa – Aug. 21, 2-6pm – Live music by Woody Gap Steel Drum Band and Artisan Pizzas by Luigi paradisehillsga.com

Towns County
Hiawassee – time 2:35, duration 2 minutes 27 seconds
– Total Solar Eclipse Retreat – Aug, 18-22, Enota Mountain Retreat Center – reconnect with the four elements, air, water, earth and fire culminating with the once in a lifetime total eclipse of the sun. vspotz.com
– Eclipse Party – Aug. 21, 1-5 pm, Cane Creek Vineyards. cranecreekvineyards.com

Rabun County
Dillard – time 2:25, duration 2 minutes 38 seconds
– Outasight – Aug. 20-21 An eclipse viewing party at Rabun Gap-Nacooche School with music, food and astronomers explaining the physics of the eclipse. $5 admission includes eclipse glasses. explorerabun.com/total-eclipse
– Dillard House – Aug. 21 – outdoor BBQ and Solar eclipse. dillardhouse.com
– Dillard Experience Extraordinary – Aug. 19-20 – Fun, food and great activities at Dillard City Town Hall
– Solar Eclipse Family Fun – Aug. 19-21 – A weekend of fishing and kid-friendly activities with a square dance and fish fry on Saturday night. andystroutfarm.com
– Black Rock Mountain State Park – details coming soon. All campsites are already booked for the eclipse weekend
– River Vista RV Resort – Aug. 18-23 – Eclipse film, kids crafts including eclipse viewers. rvmountianvillage.com
– Eclipse Golf Tournament – Aug. 20, Sky Valley Country Club
Clayton – time 2:35, duration 2 minutes 35 seconds
Tiger – time 2:35, duration 2 minutes 32 seconds
– Coach, Bus, RV and Campsites for Eclipse Viewing – Aug. 20, opens at 5pm to Aug. 22 noon, Rabun Arena – all sites reserved in advance – rabunarena.com
Tallulah Falls – time 2:36, duration 2 minutes 21 seconds
– Tallulah Gorge Solar Eclipse Festival – Aug 21, 1-3pm, Tallulah Gorge State Park – Stations to make or use eclipse viewing instruments as well experts on hand to answer eclipse questions. Schools are encouraged to bring students. gastateparks.org

Stephens County
Toccoa – time 2:36, duration 1 minute 59 seconds
– Totally Toccoa -Aug. 21, Toccoa – Festival for the eclipse on the main street of Toccoa mainstreettoccoa.com

White County
Helen – time 2:35, duration 1 minute 41 seconds
No events advertised as of May 10, 2017

Habersham County
Clarkesville – time 2:36, duration 1 minute 44 seconds
No events advertised as of May 10, 2017

Franklin County
Royston – time 2:38, duration 45 seconds
no events advertised as of May 10, 2017

Hart County
Hartwell – time 2:37, duration 1 minute 52 seconds
No events advertised as of May 10, 2017

Polk County, TN
Reliance, TN – time 2:33, duration 2 minutes 19 seconds
– Sun & Moon Fest – Aug. 20-21, Reliance, TN. 7pm Sunday evening is a bonfire, smores, and stargazing in Reliance. Monday, beginning at 12 is storytelling.
– Eclipse Trip 2017 – Aug. 21 9 am – 11 pm, Ocoee, TN – Adventures Unlimited is hosting an eclipse rafting trip on the Ocoee River followed by camping at Adventures Unlimited.
Delano, TN – time 2:33, duration 2 minutes 19 seconds
– Eclipse Glider Rides – Aug. 21, Chilhowee Gliderport, Delano, TN – eclipse viewing event and a limited number of glider rides during partial stages of the eclipse
– Hiawassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park – Aug. 21, Gee Creek Campground

Cherokee County, NC
Andrews, NC – time 2:33, duration 2 minutes 39 seconds
– The Great American Eclipse Celebration in Andrews – Aug. 21, 2-7 pm, Hall Park in Andrews, NC – celebration including food, beer, music and wine organized by Andrews Brewing Company, Calaboose Cellars and Hoppy Trout Brewing Company

Clay County, NC
Hayesville, NC – time 2:34, duration 2 minutes 33 seconds
• The Great Eclipse Weekend at Walnut Hollow Ranch – Aug. 18 -21 – Weekend event includes camping, farm tour, live music and eclipse pulled pork luncheon. www.WalnutHollowRanch.com

If you know of an eclipse event in north Georgia that is not listed above, please email ngg.marci@gmail.com

Purchase eclipse glasses at Rainbow Symphony Store

Interactive eclipse path

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