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Experience the Great American Eclipse in Nashville

Updated on July 27, 2017
MandyCrow profile image

Mandy is a communications professional living in Nashville, Tenn. She loves the city and enjoys finding new places to explore.

What is the Great American Eclipse?

On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse will sweep across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. It will be the first eclipse visible from the mainland since 1979, and the first one to cross the country since 1918. For many, the celestial event will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Nashville is one of the largest cities directly in the path of the total eclipse. Totality (when the moon completely blocks the sun's light) will last about 2 minutes in Nashville starting around 1:27 p.m. A partial eclipse will precede and follow the total eclipse. Music City, U.S.A., has a wide variety of events to choose from to make sure you make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence!


What is an eclipse?

An total solare eclipse happens when the earth, moon and sun all line up, with the moon blocking the sun's light from reaching a particular place on the earth. A total solar eclipse does not mean that the entire earth goes dark; instead, only those in the center of the moon's shadow when it hits the earth will see the total eclipse. Learn more about solar and lunar eclipses here.

The August 21 eclipse will weave a path across the entire continental U.S., from Oregon to South Carolina. To learn more about the path, check out this site.

Come early and catch a show!

Nashville is one of the largest cities in the path of the eclipse. With great restaurants, wonderful shopping and a wide variety of eclipse-focused events to choose from, Nashville has a lot to offer. Plan an end-of-summer vacation and head to Nashville a little early to catch one (or several) amazing shows:

  • August 17: Live on the Green, a free outdoor concert series in downtown Nashville that happens each Thursday night throughout August and a festival spanning the first weekend in September. On the Thursday before the eclipse, you can catch Minus the Bear, Real Estate and Local Natives for free in Public Square Park.
  • August 18: Lifehouse and Switchfoot are playing the Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel on the north side of Nashville.
  • August 19-20: Will Hoge will play two nights at Nashville's Third and Lindsley venue. It's a show you can't afford to miss!
  • August 20: Donald Fagen of Steely Dan will play the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He's expected to play selections from his solo career as well as Steely Dan favorites.

Here's why you can't miss Will Hoge!

What about eclipse events?

Nashville has planned plenty of eclipse-centric events for August 21, so one is sure to fit your fancy. Here are a few to consider:

  • Nashville's mayor, Megan Barry, is hosting a viewing party at First Tennessee Park, where Nashville's minor league baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, play. "Total Eclipse of the Park" will include music from the Nashville Symphony, science demonstrations and more. After the eclipse is over, the Nashville Sounds will take on the Iowa Cubs. Learn more.
  • Nashville's Adventure Science Center is celebrating the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event with three days of celebration, education, food and music. The outdoor components of the Music City Solar Eclipse Festival and Viewing Party is free, but the indoor exhibits—including the planetarium—do require a ticket.
  • The Italian Lights Festival is an end-of-summer staple in Nashville celebrating the sights and sounds of Italy. Visitors can eat authentic Italian food, listen to Italian music, art and more. The festival has been extended this year to include the eclipse. Planned for Bicentennial Mall in downtown Nashville, this event has also been chosen as one of NASA's certified eclipse viewing locations.
  • Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, one of Nashville's hidden gems, is also hosting a viewing party. Visitors will be able to view the eclipse from Cheekwood's beautiful grounds and gardens, with Cheekwood open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and half price admission for all.
  • The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere will offer visitors a chance to view the eclipse as well as the animals' behavior during the celestial event. The zoo is actually asking guests to record animal behavior through photos, video and written notes, since there is not a lot of research documenting animal behavior during total eclipses. Zoo employees will provide a way to gather all the data so that it can be used in further research later.

© 2017 Mandy Crow


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