Book Your Stay Today for the Cherokee Cultural Eclipse Celebration in August3.14.2017
A total solar eclipse takes place when the Sun, Moon, and Earth align during a New Moon. When the moon casts a shadow on our planet, certain areas experience total darkness. Considered to be the “Great American Eclipse,” the Solar Eclipse of 2017 will take place on August 21, and Cherokee, NC, is a prime viewing location. A series of special events called the Cherokee Cultural Eclipse Celebration will take place August 20–21 at the Cherokee Fairgrounds and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Preorder your tickets to the Cherokee Cultural Eclipse Celebration here.
Location is Key to Viewing the Total Eclipse
Plan a getaway to Cherokee, NC, to witness this rare and beautiful sight. Experts recommend Cherokee in the western part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as the perfect place to watch this historical moment.
Because of the tilt of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, we don’t get to see a solar eclipse very often. Lucky observers in various parts of the world will get to see the eclipse about twice a year. The continental United States hasn’t experienced a total solar eclipse since February 1979. In fact, this is the first time in 99 years that the total eclipse crosses from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, and the first time since 1776 that a total solar eclipse takes place in the United States and nowhere else.
Looking Toward the Sky in Cherokee at 2:35 P.M.
According to NASA, the eclipse will start at 2:35 p.m. on Monday, August 21 in Cherokee and last for one minute and 24 seconds. At 1:30 p.m., the moon will begin to move over the sun and it will take one hour for the moon to completely cover it. It will take another hour for the moon to move away from the sun. As we near closer to the event, organizers will communicate designated viewing spots to guests.
The Frog Eats the Sun/Moon
Cherokee people have observed eclipses for millennia and have several names for them.
The oldest is “Nvdo walosi ugisgo.” The literal translation is “The frog eats the sun/moon.” This refers to the traditional belief that the eclipse is caused by a giant frog swallowing the sun or moon. To scare the frog away, people made loud noises for the duration of the eclipse.
Celebrate in Cherokee
Designated as the official cultural ambassadors by the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, The Warriors of AniKituhwa will be performing at the Cherokee Fairgrounds (545 Tsali Blvd). Storytellers and craft demonstrators will also be available to share their talents with guests. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian (589 Tsali Blvd.) will host programming, including fun learning activities for children.
Hours are 2–9 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 21.
Admission is $25 per day for ages 6 and up. [Preorder tickets here.] Children five years and under get in for free. Tickets include a free pair of 3D glasses. Remember, special eye protection is absolutely necessary when viewing the sun when it is not totally eclipsed. We are certainly hoping for clear weather for an optimum experience.
Make Your Travel Plans Early!
Cherokee is expecting a high turnout for this weekend, so book your accommodations today at VisitCherokeeNC.com.
Viewing this solar eclipse is just one of the many reasons to plan a trip to Cherokee, NC. Music on the River is an open-air musical event on Fridays and Saturdays, from May 26 through September 2. The August 19 event features the acoustic tunes of the Trippin Hardie Band. Typically 7–9 p.m., this event will have extended hours (3–9 p.m.) on this solar eclipse weekend. Music takes place on the stage behind the Cherokee Welcome Center Kiosk, 940 Tsalgi Road. Throughout the summer, the Cherokee Bonfire series features tales told by Cherokee storytellers drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia.
(Photo by Stringwarrior)