Discovering the best local viewing parties for The Great American Eclipse


Photo by Connor Burnard / Assistant Lifestyles Editor

It’s not every day that the sun enjoys a favored pastime of hide-and-go-seek, but Monday, Aug. 21, that’s exactly what’s bound to happen due to The Great American Eclipse. While it’s true the solar eclipse will completely capture Nashville’s gleam of daylight for an approximate two minutes, citizens’ primary concerns don’t lie within the importance of the eclipse itself, but scoring the hottest viewing party seat.

The eclipse’s peculiarity rightfully calls for a watch party recruitment process, because it’s the first time a total eclipse will rush the entire U.S. in 99 years. Stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, Nashville is the largest city where its bystanders will witness totality, which raises an entirely important question: where should one choose to view the eclipse?

Adventure Science Center

Where: 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville

Why: This is no ordinary viewing party; it’s much more. The Adventure Science Center is scheduled to host a two-day Science & Technology Festival that will run Aug. 19-20, complete with a unique viewing party experience Aug. 21, where the outdoor festival area will transform itself to the hot spot for eclipse-watchers.

“The Music City Solar Eclipse Festival will feature two days jam-packed with explorations into science and technology, fun activities and games with local organizations, live music from local musicians, chances to win great prizes, and awesome local food trucks, and the Viewing Party will cap off the fun with a chance to experience the total solar eclipse at Nashville’s premier science center,” said Nashville’s Adventure Science Center via their website.

The outdoor festival will provide guests with educational exhibits, local food trucks and scientific entertainment and is free-of-charge, while the indoor festivities, which includes scheduled speakers, range from $29-$49 in cost.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Middle Tennessee State University

Where: 1301 E Main St, Murfreesboro

Why: MTSU is preparing for what they’ve dubbed The Great Tennessee Eclipse in all the right ways. They’re going completely over-the-top, but that’s only going to make for an indelible viewing party.

Not only has MTSU been recognized as an official NASA viewing site for the Greater Nashville area, but the university has also pulled out all the stops regarding the day’s scheduled activities that are scheduled to take place in front of the new Science Building. A stage will host several student artists under the university’s student label, Match Records, as well as a science show presented by various professors.

“This total solar eclipse will be visible from the campus of MTSU for the first time over 500 years,” said MTSU’s website. “The next total solar eclipse in Murfreesboro will be in the year 2566, so this truly is a “once-in-a-lifetime” event.

For more information and to view campus events, click here.

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Where: 502 SE Broad St, Murfreesboro

Why: For those in search of a hands-on experience, this is the perfect fit. According to the Discovery Center’s website, guests can relish in “viewing stations, educational activities and more” with a day’s admission.

Special activities include make your own solar eclipse model, create your own pinhole viewer, eclipse chalk art and the chance to learn about eclipses through a demo.

Could there possibly be a better place to view the eclipse than the local museum?

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

First Tennessee Park

Where: 19 Jr Gilliam Way, Nashville

Why: Mayor Megan Barry teamed up with the Nashville Sounds to host one of Music City’s largest eclipse viewing parties. Admission to First Tennessee park is first come, first served, and according to the Nashville Sounds, the day’s activities include “music by members of the Nashville Symphony, science demonstrations with fun, hands-on activities from the Adventure Science Center, total solar eclipse viewing, and a separate Sounds baseball game to follow.”

After totality hits the park, the Nashville Sounds will face the Iowa Cubs at 4:05 p.m. Before the game begins, all persons will be evacuated from the park, but ticket-holders will be re-admitted for the ball game, where Mayor Barry will throw the first pitch.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the viewing party and/or Nashville Sounds baseball game, click here.

While there are several other viewing parties scheduled, the above mentions are of prominence. So for all those clueless as to where the eclipse should lead to, this path is worth exploring as it will ultimately lead to an unforgettable viewing party.

To view more Nashville viewing parties, click here.

Follow Tayhlor Stephenson on Twitter at @tayhlor_s. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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