I have to admit, we’re pretty excited about the total solar eclipse that is about to happen. We follow a lot of travel bloggers, and know that many are making plans to travel great distances so they can experience what it’s like to be plunged into the shadow of the moon and witness “totality.”
Ann and I are no different. We have plans to travel all the way to our own driveway to watch. Living in Crete, Neb., we’re lucky to be smack-dab in the path of the moon’s shadow, and we get to experience nearly two and a half minutes of totality right in our own hometown. If you don’t have a place set to go watch the eclipse, you might consider coming here.
Our town of Crete has teamed up with nearby Wilber and has put together a series of fun events designed to create a weekend to remember for anyone traveling to the eclipse.
Saturday in Crete, Nebraska
The weekend festivities kick off in Crete on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. with a 1 or 5 mile fun run in Tuxedo Park. If you’re like me, you may want to sleep in a bit and come to the park to cheer on the finishers of the race and enjoy the pancake feed there sponsored by the Crete Volunteer Fire Department which starts at 8 a.m. Later in the day, Crete’s businesses will host a community shopping tour–look for Ann and me, we’ll be in City Park from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. selling commemorative postcards along with the special stamp the US Postal Service created for the eclipse. Crete’s post office even has a special one-of-a-kind cancellation stamp for the occasion.
We will also be selling a limited number of Postcard Jar eclipse t-shirts at our little stand in the park. Please come down, we’d love to meet you.
At 2 p.m., Doane University is hosting an expert panel of university professors who will discuss the eclipse and what can be expected. That panel repeats at 3 p.m., but with a Spanish translation. Both are in the Chab Weyers Education Building on the Campus of Doane University.
Starting at 5 p.m. that evening, come to downtown Crete for a food fair and beer garden. Two blocks of Main Street will be closed off to car traffic, and attendees may purchase a beer (and other beverages) in bars and restaurants up and down the street and carry them outside.
Each establishment will have its own colored wristband for patrons over age 21. See if you can collect all five! If you’re feeling daring, stop by Red Dog Tavern where Tyler has a special concoction for the occasion: the Eclipse Viewfinder which includes five different liquors, Monster energy drink, and a splash of pineapple juice in a souvenir cup for $12.
In addition to great food inside Crete’s restaurants, people attending the festivities will also be able to purchase food from a variety of street vendors including barbecue, sno-cones, sloppy joes, funnel cakes, tacos, kettle corn, sandwiches, and Italian ice. At 6:30 p.m., the POYDS Dance Company will offer a free line dancing class. You’ll want to take that so you’re prepared for the street dance in that same area from 8 p.m.-midnight featuring the band, Panama Road. Ann and I will be around somewhere downtown selling postcards and t-shirts, so please stop by.
Sunday in Wilber, Nebraska
On Sunday, the activities are centered in Wilber, located about ten miles south of Crete.
Most events in Wilber take place in their Legion Park. They kick off with a sand volleyball tournament at 9 a.m. If you missed pancakes in Crete, or you are hungry for more, the Wilber Volunteer Fire Department is also hosting a pancake feed Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Maybe you should go to both and then decide who makes better cakes? Starting at 10 a.m. will be the “Pork in the Park” barbecue competition.
From 1-2 p.m., Doane University is bringing its educational panel to Wilber High School. Also in Wilber on Sunday will be a kids carnival from 1-5 p.m., a photo booth from 4-6 p.m., and polka lessons and a performance by the Wilber-Clatonia Alumni Band from 5-6 p.m.
The day’s activities are capped off with a barbecue meal from 6:30-8:30 p.m. featuring food from the entrants in the Pork in the Park contest.
Monday is the big eclipse!
Monday is the big day for the Eclipse. Start your morning off right with sunrise meditation and yoga in Crete’s City Park at 7 a.m.
From there, enjoy more shopping in Crete and a farmer’s market in Wilber. To watch an eclipse, you need plenty of open sky, and both towns have a lot of that. Be sure to head to Armory Park in Crete or back to Legion Park in Wilber to watch the eclipse starting at 11:36 am.
For about 90 minutes, the moon with gradually cover the sun until it blocks it completely just after 1 p.m. This phase of “totality” has not happened in the U.S. since 1979, and will last only about two and a half minutes before the sun peeks out from behind the moon again. During totality, it’s possible to look at the sun and see its corona coming out from behind the moon. Stars will be visible in the sky. Watch the video below from Smarter Everyday for the best description we’ve seen yet.
I’ve heard that nothing can fully prepare you for experiencing a total eclipse of the sun, so I hope you can find a way to get into the path of “totality” and see for yourself just what it’s like. We’re excited to live in a town that is really working hard to make this an earth shadowing for everyone!
Are you planning to watch the total solar eclipse August 21, 2017? Where will you be along the path of totality?