The “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. While total eclipses aren’t that rare worldwide, the last one visible in the United States was in the Pacific Northwest on February 26, 1979. The next one won’t be until 2024.

The path of totality of the upcoming total eclipse will only be visible across the United States. The eclipse first comes ashore in Oregon near Lincoln City at about 10:18 a.m., then travels across the U.S. in a southeasterly direction, finally going out to sea through South Carolina around 2:48 p.m. The total eclipse will be visible within a 70 mile wide swath. The nearer you are to the center of this path, the longer the eclipse will last. Those outside the path of totality will only experience a partial eclipse, the extent of which will depend on where you are. For example, here in Reno viewers will experience about an 85 percent partial eclipse. You need eye protection to directly look at the eclipse, except during the total phase. Free pairs of eclipse glasses are available from all branches of the Washoe County Library, while supplies last.

The Fleischmann Planetarium at UNR currently has a show about solar eclipses, playing as a feature with the show “Robot Explorers.” See this double feature at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. daily and at 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

At The Discovery museum in Reno on August 21, 2017, you can view a video stream of the total eclipse and learn about the science related to the event. The Discovery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and this eclipse event is included with admission.

Here are two websites with tons of information about this heavenly event. With little searching, you can find dozens more.

If you want to personally experience the total eclipse and haven’t made arrangements to be in place on the big day, you can probably forget it. Anything and everything in the way of accommodations has been booked solid for months, even years. Just driving up there for the day to experience the event is almost guaranteed to be a bad idea. I’ve seen reports that it’s likely to be the worst traffic day in the U.S. – ever.

We are between some of Reno’s biggest big events, but there are still plenty of things to do during the weekend of August 18 – 20, 2017. If you plan things out, you can manage several of these.

For more details and to learn about even more things to do during the rest of August, refer to “August 2017 Events and Activities in the Reno Region.” If you are heading to the mountains, be sure to check the highway conditions and weather forecast so you’ll know what to expect.

Rev up the hotrods and make way for the Elvis impersonators – Hot August Nights is about to hit the streets of Reno and Sparks. The 2017 edition fires up on Tuesday, August 8, and goes through Sunday, August 13.

The fun begins in Virginia City, roaring through the Comstock on Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5. The official pre-kickoff party is on Sunday, August 6 at the Bonanza Casino in Reno.

Hot August Nights event, Reno, Nevada, NV

Hot August Nights brings thousands of classic cars to the streets of Reno and Sparks, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

Most Hot August Nights activities are free and open to the public, but if you’ve got some spare cash, you can get your own classic car at the Motorsport Auction Group (MAG) car auction at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. If you have a car and need parts and accessories, check out the swap meet or pick up one of many whole cars that will be on sale. For even more goodies, try the Big Boy’s Toy Store in downtown Reno.