HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – As the sun sets on Eclipse Day Eve, crowds are filing into Christian County with their spirits high. Those making a pilgrimage to the Western Kentucky community are anxious for what's to come on Monday.
Hundreds are in a playful mood at DeBow Park. Officials told us that they're still awaiting about 25 percent of their expected 400 or so temporary tenants.
Brian Badgett and family from Louisville were here early and preparing long before that for the eclipse. Brian purchased what he described as the “biggest, baddest telescope” he could find.
“I noticed the eclipse was coming by accident in 1993 so I’ve been waiting and watching for it, for this date, ever since then,” Badgett said.
The engineer, by trade, is quite the amateur astronomer with his telescope eclipsing just about any other equipment you’ll find at this park. 24 years of anticipation shows.
“That's why I bought this telescope and the filter and the camera and everything," Badgett explained.
Some of his neighbors passed the time with fun and games by tossing around a Frisbee.
But just down the road in Kelly, Kentucky it's a different type of flying disc at the center of a celebration.
A crowd took in Kelly’s “Little Green Men Days Festival” although the crowd didn't quite look like the tens of thousands some thought would arrive in the tiny town.
Predictions seem to be pretty accurate at Casey Jones Moonshine Distillery.
Crowds have been arriving all weekend.
They were all booked about two weeks ago. Sunday, thousands had already arrived and set up camp with spots designated for those still to arrive.
Owner, Arlon Casey Jones, was altering some of his plan to help his last minute surprise guests.
"We're actually taking a lot of overflow,” Jones explained. “So we've left space to do that because we knew that people were going to be coming down the road. What are you going to do with them? You can't turn them around. They're here, they're showing up the night before, the hospitable thing to do is to give them a space.”
A big part of the draw is the moonshine. They’re selling a special eclipse brew that people stood in long lines to buy.
Jones thinks there may not be a drop left when the eclipse is over.
“I couldn't even begin to tell you how many bottles but I can tell you that when tomorrow is over I will be the only liquor store in a wet county that I go dry come Tuesday,” he predicted.
While crowds across the county may be hard to estimate just yet, Brian Badgett believes the Eclipse will deliver.
"It's a great crowd and I expect it's going to swell up really large in the morning when the last-minute people come in to see the eclipse,” Badgett said.