On August 21 at 10:18 am, there will be a full solar eclipse, where the sky will go dark for two entire minutes. Oregon's small towns, which are in the path of the eclipse's totality, are gearing up for the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918.
Here's the eclipse's projected flight path, according to NASA. Notice how Oregon's smack-dab in the middle:
So far, it's been total mania.
Hotels around the state have been accused of canceling reservations and then upping rates for the weekend of the eclipse, while others have been booked for three years. Last month, Oregon State Parks even opened an additional 1,000 camping spots for the eclipse.
Basically, if you want to stay somewhere for the weekend, you better make reservations fast.
Here's a list of eclipse events going on in Oregon.
In what appears to be Crook County's very own Fyre Fest, this festival promises EDM music and luxury camping. The lineup includes guest speakers and performers from over 70 countries, along with a huge number of workshops and activities. Attendees will have 300 artists on 7 stages awaiting them, along with art installations and a massive swimmable lake. Think Burning Man in the Oregon wilderness.
If you're not trying to stay overnight, head to the Salem-area, where you can drink a glass of red wine and watch the world go dark. After, they'll be hosting events until 6pm, which is plenty of time to get drunk and sober up again.
If NASA's throwing a party, you know it's about to be lit. The hippest government organization around is teaming up with the Total Solar Eclipse to bring you Solarfest, an eclipse-themed festival at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. For $45 you get a 4-day Solarfest Pass that includes camping at the fairgrounds, access to the festival entertainment events and even a glamping upgrade option. Whether or not this is one of the few festivals that will not have a guy in a headdress looking for a girl named Molly remains to be seen…but it will have helicopter rides available! Suck it, Sasquatch. For real though, there will also be hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours and a Tom Petty tribute band. Most importantly, there are 6,000 campsites and more than 500 RV sites still available. Or you can go the glam route and reserve an apartment or the "glamping" option.
Wine Down Ranch, just north of Prineville, will host the MoonShadow Festival, a-four day family-friendly event that will highlight both the eclipse, as well as the central Oregon culture. Not only is Moonshadow the name of your favorite kind-of-friend's indie band—it is now the name of arguably the most Oregon-y solar eclipse event out there, with its own farmers market, yoga instruction, plein air paint and sip classes, musical entertainment, ranch demonstrations, cowboy storytelling, farm tours, guided hikes, stargazing and cabins you can stay in. It'll all happen on a 2100-acre working ranch, which means there are actually cattle there. The ranch hugs the Ochoco National Forest and is just north of Prineville.
5. Oregon State University's A Total Eclipse Experience
541-737-0724, communications.oregonstate.edu/space, free admission.
The festival will include a photography workshop, where you can learn how to take the best photos of the eclipse, astronomy exhibits, a series of lectures, a BBQ/cocktail party, outdoor movie night, a soul cover band concert and an eclipse viewing party.
What's even cooler, is that they're opening residence halls for guests to make reservations. Starting May 23, you can reserve a lodging and dining package on OSU's website. Packages range from $265 for a single room to $1275 for a six-person suite. This includes a two-night stay, dinner and breakfast, tickets to the concert, access to the pool and gym and a tailgate blanket.
Apparently, the city of independence goes by "indy," which is probably a good marketing tactic for them. As is this four-day festival, which will have fireworks, outdoor movies, an Aerosmith cover band, a food truck and beer fest and hypnotism in a huge outdoor park. Camping is limited and prices will increase as it gets closer to August, so reserve now.
You can help this farm raise money to build their new barn and open their cidery by camping out in a 50-acre farm in Willamina, which is also the location of the Wildwood Music Fest. On the 19th, they're hosting a cider tasting, and from that night on, their 12-acre field will be open for RV and tent camping at just $20/person.
What's more American than baseball, brews and "blackout?" Head to Keizer for a weekend of Volcanoes games and a weekend-long beer fest before the eclipse on Sunday morning, which will interrupt the 9:35am game.
If you're looking for a food and performance festival that's a little more exclusive, "Pandyfest" has you covered. The event will take over Weaver Farm will serve breakfast and dinner with a musical backdrop full of Pacific Northwest artists. Attendance is limited to 200 guests, so grab tickets while you can.
Ever wonder how the eclipse actually works? The Geiser Grand Hotel will host a day-long seminar dedicated to answering the biggest scientific questions behind it, complete with seven presentations, a Q&A, and homemade quiche. At least one of those things is appealing to everyone, and the guest speakers (who've won the NASA Achievement Award) are sure to dazzle those interested in the stars.
OMSI will add an educational touch to eclipse viewing with its event, scheduled for the day-of. Lectures and things mysteriously labeled "entertainment" will accompany a "celebration of complete and total darkness for about 2 minutes." If you want to into the science behind the eclipse, this is the place to go. Nerds welcome.
Got kids and a love of the outdoors? Camp Taloali has everything you need to keep the whole family busy until the sun disappears. A swimming pool, rock climbing wall, challenge course, hiking and biking trails, and arts & crafts center all await. RV and campsites all come in three-day packages starting at $600.
Corvallis' Parks and Recreation Department is offering tent and RV campsites for the entire eclipse weekend. Before you say something like, "Not another campsite," consider this: There's a disc golf course within walking distance. Live entertainment, food, educational presentations, and a beer garden are available to campers as well. But c'mon. Disc golf.
By most standards, Silver Falls State Park is already gorgeous enough to warrant a visit. But if 9,000 acres of nature somehow fall short for you, the lodge will host a festival from Friday through Tuesday that puts attendees right in the path of the eclipse. The total two-night all-inclusive package includes live music, local craft beer and wine tasting, 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, and a "very special appearance by the Silver Falls Sasquatch." So by celebrity appearance standards, this is the place to be.
Travel website and internet oddity Atlas Obscura is planning a big festival in Eastern Oregon. Though the location is still unannounced, the lineup is well worth the pricey reservation cost. Celebrated free-jazz band Sun Ra will perform in Oregon for the first time, accompanied by a presentations from a series of journalists and science writers. Sleeping under the stars has never sounded so trippy and educational.