A rare total eclipse is scheduled to darken Nashville on Aug. 21, and the Grand Ole Opry will celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime moment with a pair of extra shows at the Opry House.
Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Wynonna and Charles Esten have committed to an Aug. 20 evening installment of the WSM-AM Nashville broadcast, while an Opry Total Eclipse Plaza Party is set for the afternoon of Aug. 21 as the moon casts a shadow over the Earth.
The Plaza Party lineup has yet to be announced, though an official Opry release promises live music, specialty drinks and free eclipse glasses as the company serves a “one-of-a-kind” soundtrack to the event.
An eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and the Earth. While all of the continental United States will experience at least a partial eclipse on Aug. 21, a total eclipse — in which only the corona around the sun is visible from the ground — is limited to a 70-mile-wide band that stretches from northern Oregon through Charleston, S.C. Nashville is in the heart of that path, meaning the city will experience its first total eclipse in more than 500 years.
The Opry Plaza Party will begin at 11 a.m. The partial eclipse starts at 11:58 a.m. CT and ends at 2:45 p.m. The total eclipse, which lasts a mere two minutes, begins at 1:27 p.m.
The Opry is not alone in capitalizing on the phenomenon. The Westin Nashville is holding a rooftop party with priority attendance for guests who book two nights. And the Nashville Sounds minor-league baseball team is hosting its own viewing party in conjunction with several city agencies before a 4:05 p.m. game against the Iowa Cubs.