City leaders urge safe viewing spot for epic eclipse

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As the epic eclipse day nears, city and state leaders are warning you to stay off the streets, pull over and get in a safe viewing spot.

“Don’t stop on the interstate, don’t stop in the middle of the street. Pull over, get out,” expressed Butch Spyridon with the Nashville Convention and Visitors corporation.

Whether you are in a car or on foot, stopping in the middle of the road is not a good idea.

City leaders want you in a designated spot.

“That’s probably the scariest thing about getting ready for this, is what people are going to do when the eclipse totality begins,” Bill Troup with Metro Parks explained.

He says they have been planning with state and city agencies for more than a year.

“We’ve been meeting with a lot of other local agencies and state agencies and local entities to plan for this big day, because we really don’t know what to expect.”

“It could be a huge deal, we hope it is, but then it could be cloudy and a bust,” said Troup.

(Photo: WKRN)

Officials decided not to hold a specific event, but let the beauty of Mother Nature be free.

“People are going, ‘Are you creating an event? [What] are you doing?’ We’re like, ‘Look, rather it’s Mother Nature, science, or God, you pick.’ We are going to let everybody enjoy it and no we don’t need anything around it,” said Spyridon.

There are more than 100 parks across the city where you can kick back and enjoy the eclipse.

“If you go to the northeast part of the county you will get a little longer total totality. Those parks up there in the Madison area, Madison park, you are going to get two maybe two and half minutes of totality. If you are down in the Southwest park, maybe Edwin Warner Park you might get maybe 30 seconds or less than a minute totality, so you might want to think about that when you’re planning where to go,” explained Troup.

For those of you in downtown Nashville, there is Riverfront or the Country Music Hall of Fame parks.

“Particularly for those folks that work downtown and work near parks, there is probably a park within walking distance and we highly recommend that people get out and walk to the parks and stay off the streets, because traffic may get pretty crazy and you know parks would be a peaceful safe place to watch from plus you will be watching with others which may enhance the experience for you,” said Troup.

Or you can get a little closer, by viewing from a rooftop bar.

Butch Spyridon (Photo: WKRN)

“As we become, in addition to everything else, the rooftop capital bar of the world, there should be ample place for people to get off the street and that would be our number one objective. Get people into the parks, get people off the sidewalks, get people on the rooftop bars,” explained Spyridon.

You can get the t-shirt to prove it at the NCVC shop or online where they are also selling official eclipse glasses.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we’ve done the t-shirt so come buy the shirt and enjoy it,” said Spyridon.

Solar eclipse viewing glasses will also be available at most Metro park program facilities. Nature centers will have staff on hand, as well as free solar glasses available.

Metro Parks located in areas of longer totality that have large open grassy areas and parking include:

  • Cedar Hill Park
  • Madison Park
  • Parkwood Park
  • Peeler Park
  • Two Rivers Park
  • Whites Creek Park

Metro Parks that will have staff on hand and solar viewing glasses available may have limited capacity, so advance registration may be required. Details regarding reservations will soon be available from Metro Parks Nature Centers.

These locations include:

  • Bells Bend Outdoor Center, 4187 Old Hickory Blvd. Nashville, TN 37218, 615-862-4187
  • Fort Negley Visitor Center, 1100 Fort Negley Blvd. Nashville, TN 37203, 615-862-8470
  • Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, 1900 Davidson St. Nashville, TN 37206, 615-862-8539
  • Warner Park Nature Center, 7311 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221, 615-352-6299