Madisonville Looks Forward to 'Great American Eclipse'

It's being called the "Great American Eclipse.”

It’s the first total solar eclipse we've seen in the USA in 38 years, and the path of the eclipse will be going right through western Kentucky.

Hopkinsville is said to be the epicenter of the eclipse- the place with the best viewing, but Madisonville says it's a "close second".

The city held an informational meeting regarding the eclipse Tuesday, and the Ballard Convention Center was packed full of people, so you can only imagine what the city will look like on August 21st.

City officials are expecting an influx of 30,000 people, for the Solar Madness festival. For those who live in Madisonville, emotions range from excitement to nervousness, but most seem to agree it’s going to be huge.

I hope it is. You know I grew up here. So I’ve never seen anything like this happen here in Madisonville,” Edward Logan said.

With the play also comes the work. The city has been preparing for the eclipse for months, with two main priorities being traffic and public safety.

“It's all hands on deck. Enforcement strategies, and you know patrol or deployment strategies. So you know, we're kind of throwing everything at it, and like I said it's all hands on deck,” Police Chief Wade Williams said.

Madisonville is also mindful of the massive potential the event has for local businesses.

With many in attendance Tuesday being business owners, the panel gave some advice, like stocking up on inventory, anticipating cancelled appointments and preparing for a lot of bathroom requests.

For business owners like Logan, the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Hopefully it'll boost the economy here in Madisonville. You know, a lot of us business owners who are here have product and we would like to sell product. That's why you're in business,” he said.

The city also anticipates shoddy cell phone service, and if you're looking for a place to stay, good luck. One panel member says most of the city's hotels are already booked up.

Even though totality is only expected to last one minute and 47 seconds (which will begin at 1:24 PM), it's one minute and 47 seconds people in Madisonville can’t wait for.

"I mean I’d like to see another one, but you know, I don't know if I’ll get to see another one, and I think it's a unique experience that you know you can only read about. You get to see it one time in your life,” Williams said.


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