MADRAS, Ore. - For many, experiencing a total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and Madras residents will be catching a glimpse of the show -- and so will more than 40,000 people expected to flock to Jefferson County. a prime viewing spot along the "path of totality" that arcs across Oregon..
The eclipse will occur next August 21, putting the town (and many others) into complete darkness for two minutes.
"We are so excited that this is coming right to our town, that we are in the total center of the solar eclipse," Madras city plan facilitator Lysa Vattimo said Friday.
The city has been planning for this event for more than a year and has been coordinating with businesses, public safety and vendors on how to manage the thousands of people expected to stay in the area for the weekend.
Vattimo told NewsChannel 21 people with a large piece of land just outside of the town will be making it available for people to put their RVs and also camping sites.
The Jefferson County Fairgrounds also will be available as space for those who arrive and still need a place to stay.
These areas can hold 20,000 people, while other locations can house about 2,500 to 3,000.
Vattimo said people can also camp on Bureau of Land Management land.
The phones and emails are keeping the staff at The Inn at Cross Keys Station busy as many people are trying to book a room for that August weekend.
"The event itself put Madras on the map. We've been sold out for 3 to 3 1/2 half years," Assistant General Manager William O'Daniel said.
Oregon State Parks are opening their campgrounds for people to enjoy the show, but it will be on a first-come, first-served basis, as those stargazers will need to compete with the other summer campers.
State parks will be accepting reservations on Nov. 17.
Here are some helpful links if you're interested in the solar eclipse.