A total solar eclipse will be coming across the United States on Monday, August 21 starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. Out of all of the places in the United States, the greatest totality of the eclipse is occurring in Western Kentucky with Hopinksville, Kentucky holding the title of "Greatest Eclipse". As Hopkinsville is only 45 minutes from Murray, we wanted to explain what to expect for the excitement surrounding Murray, Kentucky.
Murray will be in a partial eclipse. This means our sky will become dusky, but not in complete darkness. Throughout the entire day in Murray, you will need special eclipse viewing glasses to be able to look up at the sky directly at the eclipse. These glasses must have an "E filter" greater than 14. Welding goggles are at an E14 where official eclipse glasses are E15 and up. Be sure to verify the glasses you have are safe for viewing the eclipse; you do not want any damage to your eyes!
Although the city of Murray will only be in a partial eclipse, the north side of Calloway County will have one minute of complete totality. We suggest traveling north toward Paducah, Marshall County, Land Between the Lakes and Hopkinsville. Each of these areas will have viewing sites, different festivals and activities to attend.
Western Kentucky as a region has been given an estimated number of visitors to be over 450,000. This estimated number reflects day-of traffic counts. What can people in the Murray area expect? Our hotels in Murray are at capacity, but many visitors will travel to the surrounding areas for actual eclipse viewing. For comparison, Murray will be as busy as a typical Homecoming Weekend for Murray State University; however, these visitors will know nothing about our area. They will be looking for restaurants, shopping and entertainment for their time here, prior to the eclipse, on Sunday. This may make town feel more chaotic than usual, but it will be manageable.
We encourage you to visit our office at 201 S. 4th St. or call us at 270-759-2199 for more information. We have will have information on viewing locations and various events that are surrounding our area.