Hopkinsville officials estimate $30 million in economic impact from solar eclipse weekend
NASA has designated Hopkinsville as the point of greatest eclipse Monday, which is why more than 100,000 people are headed that way.
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- NASA has designated Hopkinsville as the point of greatest eclipse Monday, which is why more than 100,000 people are headed that way.
And people who live and work in the small western Kentucky town have spent the last year preparing for this weekend.
Those planning include Jackie Lincoln, who will operate a booth at the second annual Summer Solute Festival and custom-make souvenirs.
"I cut the news article out of the paper 10 years ago and actually started planning," Lincoln said. "We have custom-made mugs here and the coasters and the designer shirts ... essentially made for the eclipse."
For at least a decade, Hopkinsville has been preparing for its role as the epicenter of the first total solar eclipse to sweep the nation in nearly 100 years. The town has even taken on a temporary new name: Eclipseville.
"We have five public campsites and viewing sites ... which we figure will have over 10,000 at them," said Tab Brockman, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. "And of course there are several hundred private-viewing sites were folks will gather."
The total solar eclipse is expected to last two minutes and forty seconds in Hopkinsville, but the economic impact could last a lifetime.
"Its huge for the community," Brockman said. "The numbers that we ran earlier, we thought it could be worth as much as $30 million to the community."
And Lincoln is trying to get as much of that as possible.
"I rented my house out," she said. "I'm staying with my neighbors."
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