Planning continues in cities across western Kentucky for the solar eclipse on August 21st. Just announced today: a concert featuring a major country music star.

"I think it will be fun to watch," says Karla McCalister of Madisonville.

Before they watch the skies, attendees for the solar eclipse can watch other shows.

"It just will give another event that they will be able to attend," says Tricia Noel of Hopkins Co. Tourism & Convention Commission

That event is a free concert starring Jennifer Nettles of country music act Sugarland at Ballard Convention Center, part of Independence Bank's Sounds of Independence concert series.  It's one of several events happening in the days leading up to the eclipse, which includes an open air market, and presentations from NASA scientists.  Tourism officials it's hard to predict how many people will be in Madisonville, and throughout western Kentucky, for the eclipse.

"We have no way of knowing how many people are going to be here that weekend," Noel says. "That really is the challenge in of itself, to estimate what the attendance will be."

"I have family that is coming up from New Orleans. My brother and his family is coming up for it. I have a son that lives up in Minneapolis that expressed a desire to be here," says Sharon Ally of Webster County.

Keeping thousands of visitors entertained isn't the only thing event planners are worried about. They're also working with law enforcement agencies on safety and controlling traffic.

Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams says people should plan ahead, and plan for best ways around any big crowd.

"When you take a road system that's set up and designed for a specific number of people and you triple or quadruple that number, it obviously going to create some jams and some problems," says Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams.

Tourism officials say there are still hotel rooms available in Hopkins County, but guests should call the hotel first before booking.


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