During the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, daytime will become twilight, and the sun's corona will shimmer in the darkened sky. It will be the first full solar eclipse visible in throughout the United States since February 26, 1979. Further, a transcontinental, total eclipse that passes from coast-to-coast has not occurred in almost a century since June 8, 1918.
The rare occasion of a total solar eclipse has opened up a plethora of opportunity for small businesses across the nation. In places that are scheduled to have the best views of the so-called "Great American Eclipse," marketers are taking full advantage by launching special products, offering tourist packages and creating special "eclipse" menus.
Millions of Americans have already purchased special glasses to watch the solar eclipse. The blocking of the sun by the moon's shadow has sent sales sky high for American Paper Optics, a Tennessee-based company that produces eclipse viewing glasses. According to a report by USA Today, the company has produced 37 million glasses and is shipping out as many as 500,000 each day.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will host a huge eclipse viewing party in Salem, Oregon, the first big city to experience the total solar eclipse in the U.S.
Bookings in Nashville, the largest city in the path of the total solar eclipse, will go dark for about two minutes. The city's tourism website, VisitMusicCity.com, has a whole page devoted to visiting Nashville to view the solar eclipse. Additionally, the site is selling 2017 Music City Solar Eclipse T-shirts.
Nashville's Tailgate Beer is hosting a solar eclipse viewing party at its brewery and promoting it on Facebook.
Nashville is in the path of totality for the 2017 Solar Eclipse and we have a giant outdoor area with one of the best views in the city! Bring the whole fam, grab some pizza, grab some craft beer, and join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience. We'll be open at 11AM and the Sun should be completely covered at 1:27PM! Solar Eclipse glasses will be available for sale while supplies last!
The Union Station Hotel has put together a special Solar Eclipse Package that includes: overnight accommodations for two (Sunday and Monday nights), special eclipse viewing glasses, and an exclusive viewing party consisting of a champagne brunch on the hotel's outdoor veranda beginning at 11:00 a.m. The hotel is offering commemorative champagne glasses to always remember this special day
Meanwhile, on August 20 and 21, the famed Grand Ole Opry is hosting a special show, The Sun, The Moon, The Opry Stars, which will feature top country music performers such as Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, and Wynonna.
Columbia, SC, which will experience the longest total solar eclipse for a metro area on the East Coast (more than two and a half minutes) is hosting Total Eclipse Weekend featuring more than 120 eclipse-related festivals and events from Aug. 18 to 21.
Countless entrepreneurs have invested money in creating and promoting eclipse-related products and services - "I Got Mooned in Beatrice, Nebraska" T-shirts to lunch specials that include blackened chicken and Moon Pies. The eclipse is a demonstration of how a natural event - the Great American Eclipse -- can become a text book exercise in American ingenuity.