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Fillmore County prime location for eclipse viewing

By Signal Staff

Soon, citizens and travelers throughout a large portion of the state of Nebraska will have the chance to see a rare celestial event—a total solar eclipse.
On Monday, August 21, the moon will block out the sun’s light, causing a total solar eclipse across approximately 468.4 miles of Nebraska from the border with Wyoming to Lincoln, Beatrice and Falls City.  An influx of out-of-state visitors is also expected to come to Nebraska to witness the event.
Fillmore County will be a prime location to witness this extremely rare weather event.  In fact, the Village of Fairmont will be a stellar location for this, as it is in the perfect path.  The partial phase of the eclipse will begin locally at 11:35 a.m., on August 21.  Totality will start at 1 p.m., and last two minutes, 36 seconds in Fairmont.
Nebraskans should make plans early to determine where they will view the eclipse, where they will stay and how best to avoid the extra traffic congestion.
“As Nebraska is a prime viewing location, we all anticipate large crowds, which may cause heavy traffic on Nebraska interstates and highways the day of the solar eclipse.  As many local communities have planned weekend events, large crowds may be possible over the weekend leading up to the actual day of the eclipse,” said Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis.  “If you are interested in seeing the eclipse, we recommend planning well in advance so you can avoid the anticipated traffic.”
Nebraska will be one of 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina to experience the path of the August 21 total solar eclipse.  Approximately 200 million people­—a little less than two-thirds of our nation’s population—will be within a day’s drive of the path of the eclipse.
Several local communities are planning viewing events for the eclipse, including Milligan. Special plans are in the works for Fillmore Central Middle School students to watch the event.  Several viewing parties are also lined up in Geneva.  One of the best spots might be in Fairmont.
The Fillmore County Historical Society has a full day of events planned there for the Sunday before the eclipse. The Historical Society will be hosting a family museum day on Sunday, August 20, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Fairmont City Park and Museums.
Historical Society volunteers will be putting on demonstrations of Nebraska pioneer life, such as, butter making, washing clothes, visiting with a mountain man and a homesteader, along with soap making. Visitors can also walk through the two museums and stop by a hat shoppe; look at many collections donated to the museum; visit a one-room school room; check Dr. Ashby's office and observe the Fairmont Army Airbase artifacts. They may also meet President Millard Fillmore. The soda fountain will also be open. Admission is free but donations will be appreciated. In case of rain, demonstrations will be moved inside.