Hopkinsville braces for 2017 solar eclipse attention - WSMV News 4

Hopkinsville braces for 2017 solar eclipse attention

Posted: Updated: Sep 18, 2012 07:04 PM

Two minutes, 40 seconds. It's one minute shorter than the average song on the radio and 20 seconds shorter than it takes to pop popcorn in a microwave. However, according to officials in Hopkinsville, KY, people all over the world will be headed to their city in anticipation of just two minutes and 40 seconds.

"For the last two years, I've been getting emails and calls nearly on a daily basis," said Robin Charles of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "It's a wonderful experience for Hopkinsville to be put on the map for something."

Local officials said a rural area just a few miles northeast of Hopkinsville will be the dead center of a solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

"This will be the longest place you will be able to view the solar eclipse," said Charles. "It is supposed to last two minutes, 40 seconds."

Even though the eclipse is still five years away, Jeff Smith of the Hopkinsville Hampton Inn said he's already getting calls about booking rooms in 2017 from places as far away as Germany and Japan.

"We've received over 200 phone calls in the last five days for inquiries about hotel availability in the city," said Smith. "We will be sold out. I expect the entire city to be sold out and some of the surrounding communities also."

It's not just the eclipse itself driving interest. August 21, 2017 is the anniversary to the day of a widely known incident from the 1950s in which some locals believe a spaceship visited a stretch of rural land near the solar eclipse site. That incident is already celebrated with the annual Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival.

"I think there is some sort of astronomical culture here in Hopkinsville that we have the little green men and the eclipse on the same day," said Smith. "It's not a coincidence at all but an alignment of the stars I might say."

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