Free shuttles to view eclipse

"We must plan and be prepared," Graham County Transportation Director Juanita Colvard said Tuesday.

Graham County is ready for the possibility that tens of thousands of visitors may come here to watch the Great American Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.
“We must plan and be prepared,” Graham County Transportation Director Juanita Colvard said Tuesday.
The local plan includes free shuttles to the viewing areas on the Cherohala Skyway, and events at Robbinsville High School, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Fontana Village, Stoney Hollow Farm, Tapoco Lodge, Wehrloom Honey, and The Heart Center.
Shuttles will pick up eclipse watchers from at least two parking areas – the Phillips & Jordan field and the parking lot between the public library and the lower gym at Robbinsville Elementary School. Additional parking areas are being considered.
Three viewing sites have been discussed as shuttle destinations – Huckleberry Knob, Hooper Bald, and Whigg Meadow.
The Graham Star will publish a map showing pick-up and drop-offs and viewing sites next week.
In Graham County, the partial phase of the eclipse will begin around 1:05 p.m. on Aug. 21. Total darkness will occur for 2 minutes and 35 seconds at approximately 2:24 p.m.
The Graham County Travel & Tourism Board meets each Thursday to tweak the plan.
The board is marketing the event by distributing posters of scheduled events to area businesses, selling commemorative t-shirts and viewing glasses, and sponsoring a collectible Road Trip to The SUN tabloid that will be inserted into The Graham Star, the Andrews Journal and the Cherokee Scout on Aug. 17.
Dozens of local businesses are doing their part to publicize Graham County’s plans.
“The viewing glasses and t-shirts are selling pretty well,” said Bill Dinschel, owner of Junk ‘n’ Style. “We’ve sold 24 pairs of glasses already.”
The Graham County Welcome Center has sold 95 pair of the specially-tinted specs.
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is going the extra mile to inform locals about the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. On Friday, the center presents Enrique A. Gómez PhD, associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Carolina University. His discourse is titled, “The Great American Eclipse of August 2017 over Graham County.” There is no admission fee for the 7 p.m. program, however, seating is limited to 500.
A summary of T&T sanctioned events is listed here. Check next week’s edition of The Graham Star for additions and further details:

Saturday, Aug. 19
What: Crafts & Antique Fair
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Details: Arts, crafts, food, snow cones, popcorn, designs, jewelry, more. Fun activities for kids, including games, train rides, face painting, prizes.

What: Live music
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Details: Hannah Styles from 7 to 8:30; South 129 from 8:30 to 10.

Saturday, Aug. 19
What: Crafts & Antique Fair
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Details: Arts, crafts, food, snow cones, popcorn, designs, jewelry, more. Fun activities for kids, including games, train rides, face painting, prizes.

What: Live music
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Details: Hannah Styles from 7 to 8:30; South 129 from 8:30 to 10.

Sunday, Aug. 20
What: Crafts & Antique Fair
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 1 to 5 p.m.
Details: Arts, crafts, food, snow cones, popcorn, designs, jewelry, more. Fun activities for kids, including games, train rides, face painting, prizes.

What: Live music
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 2 to 5 p.m.
Details: Fontana Ramblers

What: Viewing Party
Where: Fontana Village
Details: Live entertainment, cookout, other activities. Call (828) 498-2211 to make reservations.

What: Fire ceremony to heal the planet
Where: The Heart Center Retreat, 504 Mountain View School
Details: 20-minute reiki/charka balancing sessions. First come, first serve. Vegetarian treats available for love offerings.
Sunday, Aug. 20
What: Eclipse Party
Where: Robbinsville High School
Time: 9 a.m. start
Details forthcoming.

What: Viewing Party
Where: Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Details: Free admission, free glasses. Limited to 500 visitors. Food and cold drinks for sale, educational activities and music. $5 per car parking.

What: Solar Eclipse on the River
Where: Tapoco Lodge
Time: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What: Viewing Party
Where: Fontana Village
Details: Live entertainment, cookout, other activities. Call (828) 498-2211 to make reservations.

What: Reiki/chakra sessions
Where: The Heart Center Retreat
Details: 20-minute reiki/charka balancing sessions. First come, first serve. Vegetarian treats available for love offerings.

What: Locals only party
Where: Stoney Hollow Farm, 944 Ollies Creek Rd.
Details: Bring a picnic and experience the eclipse. Stoney Hollow will be closed to the public. Light refreshments and t-shirts will be sold. Admission is $20. Pre-registration required. Call 735-2983.

The Graham Star

Mailing address: P.O. Box 69, Robbinsville, NC 28771

Street address: 720 Tallulah Rd., Robbinsville, NC 28771

Phone number: 828-479-3383

Fax number: 828-479-1044