Since returning to the US this summer after living three years abroad (in fact, on this day, August 19, I landed in Morocco), I’ve bounced between my home of almost thirty years, Nashville, and Hopkinsville, the place I was born now called “Eclipseville.” I spoke with vendors yesterday just after they set up, sat down, and waited for the Summer Salute Festival at Founders Square to get going. On Main Street and beyond, energy and excitement revved and this weekend is taking off full throttle.
The talk of the town all summer, the Epic Solar Eclipse is the biggest event that’s happened in Hopkinsville in my lifetime–probably ever. The guys at Food Lion and The Wood Shed spoke of doing business with strangers who’ve come to town.
Downtown as the first band played, southern rock ladies line-danced, couples jitter bugged Happy Days style, while children on the sidelines slurped blue snow cones. By the time I headed back to Mom’s with groceries, cars with headlights on–telltale signs of guests arriving–streamed into town. A Nashville friend messaged that her family will set up camp five minutes away. Cousins are meeting at their family farm, and my kids are coming in as reunions happen all over the county. NASA and national media will watch from a farm in Cerulean, miles down the road from Hopkinsville, at the point of greatest eclipse.
2017 has been a challenging year for me personally and globally. I know I’m not alone. Despite all the country–the world–is facing right now, people still long to celebrate life–to look up in awe rather than around in fear and confusion or down in dread. As a community–residents and travelers– looked up last night at the fireworks, we look forward to looking up on Monday. With so much we can’t control, the time feels right for heavenly bodies to move. To experience celestial power at work by a Creator who loves and sees all. We’re ready.
Highlights of Summer Salute Festival Founders Square (For more info and updates go here.)
Saturday, August 19: Fort Campbell Band 12:30, WSM Road Show Winners 6:30, Tracy Lawrence 8:00
Sunday, August 20: Church Service 10 am, Train Rides 10 am, Carnival Rides 10 am, Gospel Music 11:30, The Classic Rock Experience 7-10 PM
August 21 Public Viewing Areas: DeBow Park, Tie Breaker Park, Ruff Park, Trail of Tears Park, Western Kentucky State Fairgrounds, Pardue Lane
Also August 21 Hopkinsville Community College will display science activities including a satellite balloon will be launched. Also fans of Edgar Cayce, the most documented psychic of the 20th century who many consider the father of holistic medicine, will gather for a seminar and watch at his birthplace Beverly Academy. Go here for details.
And to cool off, stop by Griffin’s Studio–my favorite discovery, located across from the courthouse and Alhambra Theater, top of Main. Unique artwork, classes, and owner Griffin Moore, is a lady of southern smarts, art, and charm.