Rabun County – Our Coming Total Solar Eclipse Monday, August 21st 2017

Rabun County – Our Coming Total Solar Eclipse Monday, August 21st 2017
By Alan Price
On Monday afternoon, the 21st of August 2017 at 2:35:45 PM, Rabun County will be THE solar eclipse capitol of Georgia.  The “Line of Totality” will cross Georgia’s NE corner and Rabun County is one of the few locations in our state to view the total solar eclipse.  From southern Rabun County to the NC Border, we’ll experience about 2 minutes and 35 seconds of dusk-like darkness, with the pre and post eclipse period lasting about 90 minutes.
This is one of the rarest of all natural events – a total solar eclipse when the moon passes in front of and totally covers the sun.  Beginning on the Oregon coast at 1:15 PM Eastern Time, the “Line of Totality” will rapidly cross the US, traversing 14 states, including the NE corner of Georgia.  The eclipse will then pass over a portion of South Carolina as it exits the US over the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the first time in 26 years a total solar eclipse has occurred in the United States – truly  “The Great American Eclipse” – and the first coast-to-coast eclipse in many years.  While a total solar eclipse occurs on average somewhere on earth each 18 months, it is extremely rare in a single location – only once each 375 years.  Since most of us can’t wait for the next one, we best catch this one!
The Rabun County School System will dismiss at noon on eclipse day, and all but essential county employees will also be released to experience the eclipse.  Excitement is building and we expect thousands of guests from regions far and wide to join us to view history in the making.
Your Rabun County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) has formed a Solar Eclipse Coordination Committee (SECC) whose main purpose is to coordinate and communicate about this fabulous event.  Specifically, we are planning a huge event, in coordination with Rabun Gap Nacoochee School (RGNS), which will be both educational and fun.
Gates will open for the “OutASight Festival” at the RGNS athletic fields at 10 AM on eclipse day, Monday the 21st of August 2017.  The festival will feature commentary from a number of distinguished astronomy professors; large jumbotron displays featuring video feed from NASA as the eclipse progresses; bands; food and craft vendors; souvenirs; and educational opportunities for young and old to learn the science behind a total solar eclipse as we watch it unfold before our eyes.  Rain or shine, the eclipse will happen and so will the “OutASight Festival”.  Admission on campus at RGNS is only $5/person.  (Includes parking, viewing glasses – essential equipment – and informational handouts about the event.)
Solar eclipse enthusiasts from all over the world will be coming to Rabun County for some of the best viewing in the entire United States.  Begin to make your plans now, and insure you are prepared for one of the truly great events in our lifetime – all right here in Rabun County!
Come join your friends and neighbors, from near and far, for a great time at RGNS and experience this unique and profound event.  Bring chairs, spread a blanket, put on some suntan oil, and get ready to be astounded by nature’s handiwork as we experience “Totality”!
OutASight T-shirts are available at a number of locations around Rabun as well as on your TDA website. (explorerabun.com)* A great buy at $15/shirt, these high quality, great looking shirts will be both a keepsake and a lasting memory of a day never to be forgotten.  Join the excitement by spreading the word, and joining us at RGNS on the 21st of August.
*For all eclipse information and a list of related activities in and around Rabun County, just click on the eclipse symbol on the TDA website.
Editor’s Note:  Alan Price is chair of the “Solar Eclipse Coordination Committee” which is coordinating all solar eclipse activities in Rabun County for the Tourism Development Authority.  For more information or to volunteer please check the TDA website at explorerabun.com/total-eclipse/ or contact the TDA Executive Director Teka Earnhardt at teka@explorerabun.com.