HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Hopkinsville, Ky. has embraced its moment in the dark. The western Kentucky town has branded itself “Eclipseville."
At 1:24 p.m. local time, that's 2:24 p.m. Eastern, the moon will move between the Earth and the sun creating a total eclipse that will last 2 minutes 40.1 seconds. That duration is as long as anywhere on planet Earth which is a detail inspiring a pilgrimage, unlike anything this area has ever seen.
If someone anywhere else in the world asked you what "hometown USA" looked like, Hopkinsville would be a good example to show them. Now "Hoptown," as locals call it at Ferrell's hamburgers, is transforming into "Eclipseville."
For nearly a century folks have bellied up to this iconic lunch counter. These days the hot topic of conversation is their town's upcoming celestial celebration.
"I think everybody is excited about it, just a little leery about all of the traffic, but we'll get through it,’ said Hopkinsville resident Judy Pool.
Pool works at the school which is closed on August 21 so the kids don't miss out.
Leaders suggest hundreds of thousands will roll in from around the globe and when they arrive they'll be greeted by a fresh site on the brick wall of a business on the main drag. The paint recently dried on a mural honoring Hopkinsville's newfound fame and the colorful characters at the center of this community.
Darryl Lynch and his son Chaseley made tracks to Whistle Stop Donuts pausing to appreciate the sign of things to come.
“I tell you what, it's growing on the town,” said Darryl of the “Eclipseville” buzz.
Chaseley Lynch added, "I think it's going to be really cool how all of these people are going to come here to see it.”
Kentucky State Senator Whitney Westerfield calls “Eclipseville” home. We asked who came up with the nickname?
“God! God ordained it,” Sen. Westerfield kidded, “and knew that this eclipse was coming here August 21… I'm not sure who came up with it but what a great opportunity and marketing opportunity for Hopkinsville to brag on this cosmic lottery that it won.”
Every day Hopkinsvillians, artists, and businesses are cashing in on their cosmic lottery ticket.
Swag of all sorts is orbiting town. Ebonite, known around the world as a leader in bowling equipment, found a special edition was right up their alley. They created an eclipse bowling ball. Casey Jones Distillery brewed a special batch of spirits that promises to deliver even if August 21 is a cloudy day.
Arloe Casey Jones, owner of Casey Jones Distillery explained, "You turn that bottle up, I guarantee you're going to have an eclipse. That's 100 proof stuff right there. It's lights out, I guarantee it. And if you do have an eclipse with that bottle it's going to last a lot longer than 2 minutes and 40 seconds, you know."
Brooke Jung, Solar Eclipse Marketing and Event Consultant, explained the economic impact, “When you think about Derby time in Louisville, this is like our Derby without building Churchill Downs. This is like we're hosting a Super Bowl without having to build a stadium. So this is something that we're really embracing and we're so excited about and proud of. "
"We're proud of it and why not take advantage of it,” asked Sen. Westerfield. “And we'll use it as long as we can, and the excitement will obviously die soon after August 21, but what a joyous thing to be able to take advantage of it while we can right now."
WHAS11 will have continued coverage of the eclipse throughout the month so be sure to check back for more stories from “Eclipseville."
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