Thousands of students, alumni, community members and guests from all over the United States and beyond are expected to come together to experience the total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 at Tennessee Tech University.
The university is a NASA official viewing location for the eclipse and will be celebrating with a festival full of educational activities, guided viewing and an appearance by special guest Barry Wilmore, a Tennessee Tech alumnus, Navy Captain and NASA astronaut with a total of 178 days spent in space.
More than 8,500 people have registered to attend the event and organizers say they will provide safe solar eclipse viewing glasses for the first 10,000 guests in the stadium. Among guests will be travelers from 27 other states and six other countries, along with school groups from Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Charleston, West Virginia; Rome, Georgia and school districts across Tennessee.
The Eclipse Festival area, located between Tucker Stadium and the Hooper Eblen Center, will open at 10 a.m. and will feature 40 vendor and educational booths, including an opportunity to touch a snake with the university’s Biology Department, create commemorative eclipse prints with the Appalachian Center for Craft, learn about the science of the eclipse with the Physics Department and more.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Traveling Science Fair will offer interactive science activities alongside the Oakley STEM Center’s STEM Mobile. Jet Propulsion, a character from the PBS KIDS TV show “Ready, Jet, Go” will be onsite to greet young fans who can also enjoy a moon bounce and hands-on fun.
Food vendors and concessions will also be available.
Tucker Stadium will open at 10:30 a.m. Safety glasses will be distributed to guests as they enter the stadium where guided viewing of the eclipse with NASA subject matter experts Mary Kidd, assistant professor of physics at Tech, and Steve Robinson, chair of the physics department at Tech.
No large bags or coolers will be allowed inside the stadium.
In partnership with WCTE-TV, a jumbotron located inside Tucker Stadium will feature live feeds provided by NASA, showing the view of the eclipse from space and WCTE will be providing footage from the Tennessee Tech event to the popular science television show NOVA to be aired in a special presentation that evening.
Tech’s campus police will direct traffic and manage parking, encouraging guests on campus to park in lots marked for Eclipse Festival parking, with other campus lots available as needed. No special parking passes are required. Handicap parking will be available in the lot located behind Volpe Library.
Guests to campus can not park in Cookeville Regional Medical Center parking lots and will be subject to towing if parked in any private business lot.
Traffic is encouraged to enter campus from Willow Avenue via University Drive. Be advised that Stadium Drive will be closed for the event.For a parking map, registration information and event details, visit www.tntech.edu/eclipse.