Mar 29, 2024 - Things to Do

Nashville residents became eclipse chasers after 2017

Animated illustration of an air freshener in the shape of a sun being eclipsed hanging off a rear-view mirror.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

When the 2017 solar eclipse put Nashville in the path of totality, I had basically no idea what to expect.

  • Some friends and family came to stay with us, so I knew it was somewhat of a big deal, but for me the eclipse meant time off from work and a bit of day drinking.
  • It turned out to be an unforgettable and breathtaking communal experience. In the Whites Creek field where we gathered, as the skies went dark, people clapped and cheered like the victorious end of a sporting event.

Why it matters: When the scientists informed us the next eclipse would come just seven years later, we made arrangements to watch the next cosmic event with our central Indiana friends.

  • Many Nashvillians are looking forward to the April 8 eclipse, but this time Music City isn't in the path of totality.

We asked our Axios Nashville readers for their 2017 memories and for their plans for this go-around.

😯 Steve also was taken aback by the 2017 event. "I was looking forward to it but, had NO idea how cathartic the experience would be. I have cousins in southern Illinois who will be right in the center of totality. I've had my room reserved at Cousin Judy's since 2017!"

✈️ The gold medal for best planning goes to Kathi B-A. She booked flights to both Dallas and Indianapolis for early morning on April 8.

  • "Our plan is to keep a close eye on cloud cover and fly to whichever city offers the best chance of clear skies (and cancel the other tickets)," she says.

💍 Perhaps the Axios Nashville reader with the grandest plan is Lee P.

  • "I booked a cabin in southern Indiana, that's in the path of totality. We're staying the whole weekend prior to the eclipse, and I'm planning to propose to my girlfriend on the trip."
  • (He gave us permission to share this story, but no one tell his girlfriend!)

👶 Politicians are eclipse lovers, too. Nashville mayoral candidate Alice Rolli recalled how her 1 year old wasn't particularly enthralled by the prospect of the eclipse in 2017. She took the baby home from Fort Negley and watched from her backyard while he slept.

  • "This time around we are all headed to Dallas Texas to stay with our cousins - at 8 and 12 years old it promises to be a VERY memorable adventure!!!!"

🌦️ Kara E. was converted into an "eclipse chaser" after 2017. She'll be making the trek up I-65 to Indianapolis as well. She summarized what we're all thinking in the lead-up to the big day.

  • "Fingers crossed for clear skies that day!"
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