Sun & Moon Fest planned for Reliance

Posted 8/13/17

The Polk County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the total solar eclipse with a Sun & Moon Fest beginning on Aug. 20 and continuing through Monday, Aug. 21.

The eclipse, dubbed the Great …

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Sun & Moon Fest planned for Reliance


The Polk County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the total solar eclipse with a Sun & Moon Fest beginning on Aug. 20 and continuing through Monday, Aug. 21.

The eclipse, dubbed the Great American Eclipse, is the first to sweep across the nation from coast to coast in 99 years, and is expected to last over 2 minutes in some locations. The total solar eclipse will throw sections of Southeast Tennessee into a twilight-like darkness at approximately 2:33 p.m. as the moon passes between the sun and the earth.

The festival will begin on Sunday evening at 7, with smores and star-gazing in historic Reliance. Night sky maps will be available for purchase.

Monday (Eclipse Day) brings the actual family-friendly viewing event beginning at noon.

Judy Baker, local story teller, will be spinning tales about Appalachia, eclipse lore and more to keep the crowd entertained. There will also be craft vendors and demonstrations, such as blacksmithing with Firestone Forge.

Banti-Rooster Food Truck, Poppin’ John’s Homemade Ice Cream, The Bakery on Main and Travel Treats will also be on site serving up delicious eats.

You are encouraged to bring a blanket or camp chair to both events.

“We would like to remind people about eye safety during the eclipse,” said Polk Chamber Director Adrian Lambert. “Do not look directly at the sun during any of the partial eclipse phases without solar glasses, or you could seriously injure your eyes. The only time you can look at an eclipse without a solar filter is during totality, when the moon is completely blocking the sun.”

The only safe way to look directly at the partially eclipsed sun is through special solar glasses or optical filters compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard.

Eclipse viewing glasses and T-shirts will be available for purchase at the Polk County Chamber of Commerce booth.

Chamber reps also remind visitors that cell service and GPS may not be reliable, so you may find it useful to print map directions to your chosen viewing location beforehand.

The total eclipse will begin at 2:33 p.m. and will last for 2 minutes and 19 seconds at our location. Sun & Moon Fest event address is 3708 TN-30, Reliance TN 37369.

For more information, call 423-338-5040 or visit

Eclipse events

There will be several events observing the total eclipse in Polk County on Aug. 21.

Chamber members, Tennessee State Parks and others will host special events and activities leading up to totality. Currently, the following events are scheduled:

• Copperhill/McCaysville will have a street party with vendors, live music, food and more. There will be almost 2 minutes of totality at the site.

• Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park will have events all weekend long leading up to the eclipse on Monday. There will be bonfires, eclipse workshops, movie night, star-gazing and more. The event is limited to 200 and is sold out, according to the Tennessee State Parks’ website.

• Savannah Oaks Winery is planning an eclipse viewing party with a special edition Eclipse Wine. Sip wine and watch the dance between the Sun and Moon.

• Outfitters are offering eclipse rafting trips. Raft the Ocoee during the Great American Eclipse.

• Ducktown Basin Museum is hosting a viewing event.

• East Polk Public Library is hosting a viewing event in Ducktown, with free eclipse glasses, solar discussions and more.

• Chilhowee Gliderport is offering a limited number of glider rides during the eclipse and will host a private viewing party. Contact the Gliderport for more details.

• WildwaterZipz is offering eclipse zip trips. Experience the various stages of the eclipse from the forest canopy and get a bird’s eye view!

• Adventures Unlimited is planning an eclipse rafting trip along the Middle Ocoee River, with a space-themed dinner, a family-friendly social, live music, giveaways, and tent camping after the trip.

Some of the Tennessee State Parks in the path of totality include:

• Fort Loudoun State Park in Vonore — duration of totality will be 2 minutes and 29 seconds. Due to response to event Fort Loudoun’s Total Solar Eclipse event, the maximum number of participants have been reached. Individuals or groups are no longer being registered.

• Fall Creek Falls in Spencer — duration of totality will be 2 minutes and 24 seconds. The maximum number of participants for the park event has been reached. It has been marked sold out.

• Cummins Falls in Cookeville — duration of totality will be 2 minutes and 37 seconds — Solar Eclipse Campout is sold out.

• Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville — Duration of totality will be 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

• Burgess Falls in Sparta — duration of totality will be 2 minutes 37 seconds.


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