A 70-mile-wide swath of East Tennessee — from just north of Chattanooga to just south of Knoxville — will be in the path of totality for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
Some school systems — Hamilton County and Knox County among them — have canceled classes that Monday, so many families are expected to be looking for good places to study the darkening sky.
Many places are hosting viewing parties or events for people to watch. Most are free. Some, including those at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Clingmans Dome and the Fort Loudoun State Historic Park, are sold out or full.
The eclipse happens because the path of the moon crosses in front of the sun and briefly turns day into night. The eclipse will happen at about 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Many locations are hosting events day of and in advance of Aug. 21. Here are some in the Knoxville area, including some as far south as Athens and Sweetwater, if you want to travel. (Look for a Chattanooga-area list in the Life section the next two Sundays, Aug. 13 and 20, as well as the Aug. 17 edition of ChattanoogaNow.)
- Pre-eclipse talk at The University of Tennessee Arboretum: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Ave, Oak Ridge. PBS science educator Janet Ivey speaks on "A Day in the Dark! Solar Eclipse 2017!" Her TV program "Janet's Planet" is syndicated on 140 public television stations throughout the United States. Craft activities for children follow Ivey's presentation.
- Maryville College Eclipse Presentation: 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville. The free hour-long presentation tells people what to expect from the eclipse and how to safely view it. There'll also be discussion about eclipses' historic and scientific significance and how eclipses have been shown in art and literature.
- Great American Eclipse at Parrott-Wood Memorial Library: The library will host pre-eclipse programs at 4:30 p.m. the next two Mondays (Aug. 7 and 14).
- Tellico Plains - Standing in the Shadow of the Moon: The visitor center and museum will host eclipse-centered events Aug. 19-20. Those events include dream-catcher classes, videos and evening outdoor events.
Day-of eclipse events
1. Athens' Total Eclipse in the Park: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Athens Regional Park, Regional Park Drive, Athens, Tenn. Vendors, food trucks, music, lawn games. Viewing glasses sold.
2. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Eclipse Viewing: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Bandy Creek Visitor Center, Oneida.
3. Blount County Public Library's Total Solar Eclipse Viewing: 1-4 p.m. at Blount County Public Library, 508 N. Cusick St., Maryville. Those who wish to make pinhole cameras to view the eclipse should arrive an hour earlier.
4. Blount Mansion Eclipse Viewing Party: Starts 1 p.m. at Blount Mansion, 200 W. Hill Ave., Knoxville. Eclipse viewing is free; box lunches are $10 with RSVP to 865-525-2375.
5. Cable Mill at Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Solar Eclipse Event: 1-4 p.m. There'll be activity tents and telescope-aided eclipse viewing. Members of the University of Tennessee's Astronomy Club will help.
6. The Cove at Concord Park Eclipse Viewing Party: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will host a party at The Cove, 11808 S. Northshore Drive in West Knox County. There'll be music and a food truck.
7. Town of Farragut's Solar Eclipse Party: 1-3 p.m. at McFee Park, 917 McFee Road, Farragut. First 300 participants receive eclipse glasses.
8. Great American Eclipse Viewing Party: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Harmony Family Center, 4901 Montvale Road, Maryville. The center pool and basketball courts will be open. Experts will talk about the eclipse; food trucks will sell food. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children at http://harmonyfamilycenter.org. Viewing glasses are included. Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets.
9. Great American Eclipse at Parrott-Wood Memorial Library: 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the library at 3133 W. Old Andrew Johnson Highway, Strawberry Plains. The first 200 people receive viewing glasses.
10. The Lenoir City Museum Viewing Party: 1-3 p.m. at the museum, 110 Depot St., Lenoir City. Eclipse glasses are provided; a small firework show follows.
11. Madisonville - Total Eclipse of the Park: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Houston Park, Madisonville. A picnic will be held; there will be vendors and music.
12. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture Social Eclipse Activity: 9-11 a.m. at the University of Tennessee museum, 1327 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville. The museum hosts free educational activities on the morning of the eclipse for people to come by before they go to their viewing points. Attendees can make a craft to take home and buy solar eclipse glasses if they don't have them.
13. Oak Ridge Eclipse Viewing: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the American Museum of Science and Energy, 300 S. Tulane Ave., and East Tennessee Technology Park, 200 Heritage Center Blvd., Oak Ridge. Visitors get free eclipse shades, learn how and why solar eclipses happen and learn how to safely view the eclipse.
14. Obed Wild and Scenic River Area Events: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Obed Visitor Center, Wartburg, and Lily Bluff Overlook in Lancing.
15. River Rat Tubing 'Tube the Eclipse' and Solar Social: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. tubing, can tube during eclipse at River Rat Tubing, 205 Wears Valley Road, Townsend. Post-eclipse party includes music. Free eclipse viewing. $25 to tube and get glow-in-dark shirt.
16. City of Sweetwater Street Festival: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Sweetwater. Directly in the eclipse's path of totality, the city of Sweetwater celebrates with a festival that includes music and vendors.
How are you eclipsing?
Watching from home? Traveling to a town with totality? The Times Free Press wants to know how you’ll be watching the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21. Email information for possible inclusion in upcoming coverage to Life@timesfreepress.com or call 423-757-6281.
17. Sweetwater Valley Farm's Eclipse Watch: Noon-4 p.m. at Sweetwater Valley Farm, 17988 W. Lee Highway, Philadelphia. Tickets are $2.50 to $15 (includes a T-shirt). Lunch from food trucks starts at noon. The farm will make cheese and give out samples. Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Tickets are at www.eventbrite.com or through the farm's Facebook page through Monday.
18. "Tailgating in Totality Party": Noon-3 p.m. at Pellissippi State Community College's Blount County campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Friendsville. At this Tailgating in Totality party for students and the community, attendees should bring lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen and can bring food and beverages. A food truck will sell food. Pets and alcohol aren't allowed. Eclipse viewing glasses will be handed out while supplies last. Pellissippi bluegrass band Hardin Valley Thunder performs 1:15-2 p.m. The college also will show live footage from a high-altitude balloon. Pellissippi students are launching the balloon in partnership with NASA.
19. Tellico Plains - Standing in the Shadow of the Moon: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. at Charles Hall Museum, 229 Cherohala Skyway, Tellico Plains, Charles Hall Field and the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, 225 Cherohala Skyway. Parking in the field is available for $5. The day includes "star-themed music" and Cherokee storytelling. Members of the Smoky Mountain Astronomy Club will attend. Star-themed videos will be shown 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the visitor center; NASA space information starts at 10 a.m. in the museum No. 2 building. A complete list is at the Tellico Plains link at www.monroecountytourism.com/total-solar-eclipse.
20. "TKA's Glimpse at the Eclipse": Noon-3 p.m. at The King's Academy campus, 202 Smothers Road, Seymour. The campus was endorsed as an official NASA event site. Solar eclipse darkness totality at the school is 99.8 percent maximum, per the school, and happens at 2:34 p.m. The first 1,000 people get viewing glasses. The event includes educational activities, craft assembly booths, safe-viewing projector construction and music. Space-themed snacks, beverages, and souvenirs will be sold.
21. Total Solar Eclipse Party: 12-2:30 p.m. at Dancing Bear Lodge, 7140 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend. Cost is $35 per person and includes lunch, music and viewing glasses. Tickets are at 1-800-369-0111, ext. 1.
22. Tsali Notch Vineyard Total Solar Eclipse Viewing: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the vineyard, 140 Harrison Road, Madisonville. Free; donations accepted. Music featuring Wild Blue Yonder will be part of the event. There will be a food truck, and wine can be purchased from the winery. Attendees are invited to bring picnics.