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News from Eclipseville

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how planning for the eclipse has been a little like planning a dinner party and having no idea who is coming or how many. Since then, we’ve gotten a little more information about who is coming, and I thought I’d share some of that with you.


Visitors in Homes

As I talk with people throughout the community, many of them tell me that they will have family or relatives staying with them for the eclipse and for the weekend prior. Some of those will be people who grew up here and are coming home for this event. I’ve had reports of guests coming from as far as New York, Oregon, Montana, Washington, and North Dakota.

 

Hotels and Camping

Our hotels and RV parks are reporting that they are at or near capacity the event, with guests coming from all over the US and around the world including some from as far away as Australia and Japan.

The City of Gatesville is providing tent and RV camping in Faunt Le Roy park and has reservations from guests coming from cities in Texas that aren’t in the path of totality, like Houston but most of them are coming from all over the country, including California, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, and Florida. We even have one camper coming from the Netherlands.

 

Website Visitors

We’ve created an online “guestbook” at GatesvilleTxEclipse.com. We’ve had people sign in from Ireland, Norway, California, Mexico City, the UK, Washington, and Minnesota. We will leave this up through the eclipse and encourage all our visitors to sign in. You can see their comments by going to the website and clicking on “Guestbook”.

 

Special Guests

We have some special guests coming, too.  NASA Ambassador Liam Finn will be here with a team of astronomers. Liam is originally from Ireland and live in Michigan now. He will be doing a free educational presentation in City Auditorium on Saturday, April 6 at 6:00pm. Admission is free but tickets are required and are going fast! You can get your tickets on the GatesvilleTxEclipse.com website. Look under “Events” and click on “Syzygy”. Liam and his team will also be at the City of Gatesville Sports Complex on April 8. They’ll be bringing telescopes, special cameras and projection equipment as they collect data for NASA.

We will also play host to author Jayme Sandberg. Jayme witnessed the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in her hometown in Nebraska and was inspired to write a children’s book about it. She will be presenting her book “Total Solar Eclipse: A Stellar Friendship Story” at a storytime at 1854 Mercantile at 6:30 pm on Saturday, April 6.

  

Let’s Show Some Texas Hospitality!

I’ve had the privilege of talking to many of these visitors by phone, or through email and social media communication. Everyone that I have talked to has been so nice. They are excited about traveling to Gatesville to witness the eclipse. Many of them are also excited about coming to Texas.

Gatesville has long taken pride in being a caring and giving community. Let’s not miss an opportunity to show our guests from all over the world what a great place Gatesville, Texas is! We will have a downtown festival on April 6-7 with free admission. We will have food and merchandise vendors and activities for all ages, including photo props, a petting zoo, cornhole, art show, local authors, music on the entertainment stage on Saturday and praise and worship on Sunday. The Museum will also be open on Saturday. We can still use volunteers at the festival. Contact me at cshepherd@gatesvilletx.com or (254) 326-8248 for more information about volunteering. If volunteering isn’t your thing, I hope you’ll take time to say hello and welcome to our visitors, whether you see them in our stores and restaurants, or at the festival.

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