2017 Total Solar Eclipse - Kearney & Ravenna, Nebraska
August 21, 2017
Partial Phase Start: 11:33 am
Totality Start: 12:57 pm
Duration of Totality - Kearney: 1 min 54 secs
Duration of Totality - Ravenna: 2 mins 35 secs
This August central Nebraska will play host to an extraordinary celestial event, a total solar eclipse. The last solar eclipse to pass through the continental United States was in 1979, over 38 years ago. 2017’s solar eclipse is special because its totality path cuts perfectly through the center of the United States. Everyone in the continental United States will see at least a partial eclipse, with the top of Maine seeing 48% of the sun covered. Despite this, to get the most out of the eclipse you absolutely must view it along the path of totality.
Nebraska is a wonderful place to view the eclipse because of its flat landscape and few structures that impede visibility. Furthermore, the chances of a clear day are higher in Nebraska, with the sun showing 70% of days in August. While most of the eclipse will be visible throughout the state, two of the very best places to view are Kearney and Ravenna. Not only are Kearney and Ravenna both on the exact path of totality, but both towns have some wonderful events planned for the weekend. Kearney is a great place to experience the solar eclipse because it has many wonderful amenities, such as hotels, restaurants, the Stagecoach, and other fun things to do. Kearney also has many parks and recreational areas that would make for wonderful viewing spots for the eclipse. Ravenna is actually centered on the totality line even better than Kearney so it is, therefore, the better place to view. Ravenna has the longer totality duration of 2 minutes and 35 seconds vs 1 minute and 54 seconds in Kearney. However, because of its size, Ravenna does not have the amenities that Kearney has. Undoubtedly, many people will stay in Kearney and then make the 30-mile drive to Ravenna to watch the eclipse. Here is a look at what will be going on in Kearney and Ravenna during the weekend of the solar eclipse.
Saturday, August 19th
Eclipse in the Heartland Country Jam - Kearney - From 11 am to 10 pm, at the Viaero Event Center, listen to music from bands such as the Luke Mills Band, the Dylan Bloom Band, the DJ Bridwell Band, and others!
Kearney Multi-Sport Challenge - Kearney will host three different races throughout the day on Saturday. The events will begin with a 9 am kayak race down the Kearney Canal at Yanney Park. At 2 pm there will be a dirt trail mountain bike race at the Meadowlark North Dog Park, right off 30th Ave. The Multi-Sport Challenge will conclude with a 5k race at Yanney Park starting at 9 pm. Click Here for more information.
Blackout on the Bricks - Downtown Kearney - Head downtown for specials and events at participating retailers!
Baseball Field Vendors - Ravenna - Celebrate the solar eclipse with food and souvenir vendors as well as local entertainment all weekend at the baseball fields in Ravenna!
Ravenna Hometown Solar Eclipse Festival - Enjoy great entertainment such as a volleyball tournament, 5k Fun Run, Music Festival, Beer Garden, and a Parade. Also, don’t miss presentations by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke and Johnson Space Center project engineer Renita Fincke.
Sunday, August 20th
Astronomer Presentation - Hear Dr. Tabetha Boyajian, an astronomer at Louisiana State University, speak about the solar eclipse. She will be speaking at the Merryman Theater Hall at 7 pm.
Kearney Night Market - Enjoy local vendors and food trucks set up in downtown Kearney who will offer a variety of souvenirs and gifts for the solar eclipse. The Kearney Night Market begins at 7 pm and lasts until 10 pm.
Ravenna Hometown Solar Eclipse Festival - Sunday’s festival events in Ravenna include a golf tournament, a cruise night, scavenger hunt, and day and night trap shoot.
Monday, August 21st
View the solar eclipse at one of several viewing areas in Kearney and Ravenna. In Kearney, viewing locations include the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, UNK Cope Stadium, the Archway, Viaero Event Center, Yanney Park, and the Oldfather Trail at Cottonmill Park.
Ravenna is continuing the vendors, food, and entertainment at the baseball fields on Pine Rd and Syracuse St. If you’re in Ravenna during the solar eclipse, definitely don’t miss this celebration.
While you’re in town, don’t forget to stop by the Stagecoach. Our Native American Jewelry seems fitting when you think of the mysteriousness of the solar eclipse. I know I will be wearing some of my own Native American jewelry on solar eclipse day. I had actually been thinking about what the Native Americans must have thought when a solar eclipse passed by, before the era of electronics. Stay tuned for another blog post where I dive into this further. Beyond Native American jewelry, we also have specially themed solar eclipse souvenirs, gifts, and t-shirts, as well many other wonderful souvenir items that can’t be found elsewhere. We are one of the few places in Kearney where you can pick up solar eclipse viewing glasses. Check them out here. You absolutely need a pair of eclipse glasses if you want to safely view the solar eclipse and ours are ISO and CE certified for safely viewing the sun at any time. So come down and grab a pair to try out!
Take a look at a few of our solar eclipse souvenirs here!