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City of Clarksville shines as a great place to view Total Solar Eclipse

Visitors praise City’s day in the ‘Path of Totality’

City of Clarksville - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – The City of Clarksville played to rave reviews Monday as a great place to experience the Great American Eclipse.

People interested in viewing the rare astronomical event flocked to Clarksville from all across America. Visitors at the City’s Liberty Park and McGregor Park proudly announced where they were from and shared overwhelmingly positive comments about the Queen City on the Cumberland.

Total Solar Eclipse over Clarksville Tennessee.
Total Solar Eclipse over Clarksville Tennessee.

“I’m really proud of the City of Clarksville’s ability to host this great event,” Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said after taking in the eclipse at Liberty Park. “People have come from all over America, and I’ve heard nothing but praise for our people, our city, our parks and especially the weather, which like the eclipse, was absolutely beautiful.”

The list of visitors’ hometowns was extensive.

A couple from Pittsburgh, PA, who gathered on the stones outside the Wilma Rudolph Event Center at Liberty Park, said they chose Clarksville for a rendezvous with their son from Montana for their family eclipse experience.

A couple from Milwaukee, WI, who rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Tennessee for the event, heaped praise on Liberty Park as a great place for the viewing.

A family from Tulsa, OK, gathered for a group photo and said they were glad they chose Clarksville and Liberty Park as their eclipse site.

“We considered some other places, but there was just too much hoopla, and we wanted to avoid that kind of atmosphere,” the dad said. “We’re interested in the science of it all, so this setting has been perfect.”

Bob Rogers of Memphis, who gathered with his wife, Claude, and several dozen of his new friends on McGregor Park’s RiverWalk, summed it up this way: “Clarksville has been awesome. The eclipse was awesome. Now I’m gonna walk across the street to my room at the Riverview Inn, and take a shower and a nap, which also will be awesome!”

Rogers said he looked into viewing opportunities from St. Louis south through Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, and ended up choosing Clarksville.

“We’ve been really pleased. We wanted a relaxed setting and Clarksville has been perfect,” Rogers said. “We had planned to go over to APSU for the eclipse, but we got into town Sunday and took a walk along the river. We said, hey this is the place, right here in a shady spot on the riverbank.”

Rogers chose well. Before noon, a family from Northern Alabama stopped and set up a telescope with a viewing filter. They graciously offered to share the enhanced view with everyone nearby their spot in McGregor Park, and helped folks take pictures through the telescope.

As people waited for the moon to pass in front of the sun, a young man who said he was from Cuba broke out a guitar and sang his way through an impromptu riverside concert.

Ashley Polikoff and Russell Powers, who also joined the group on the RiverWalk, said they had traveled from Brooklyn, NY, for the eclipse.

“We found a place to stay in Clarksville on Airbnb, and the experience has been outstanding,” Powers said. “The owner even gave us a gift from Beachhaven Winery.”

But ultimately, everyone agreed the day was great because of the main attraction, the total eclipse of the sun.

“It was spectacular,” Polikoff said. “A true once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

And for thousands of happy visitors, Clarksville was “Totality,” and a great place to be for the Great American Eclipse of 2017.

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