Idaho towns in path of totality embrace eclipse-mania

A number of Idaho communities are in the path of totality for the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse. And they are putting on parties to celebrate.

BOISE - It's almost time for the much-hyped solar eclipse of 2017. A number of Idaho communities are in the path of totality, including Weiser and Placerville.

KTVB has crews in both of the those towns to bring us live reports before, during and after the eclipse. And they're finding that the locals are embracing eclipse-mania.

WEISER

As many as 50,000 visitors were expected to converge on this town of just over 5,000 people. But as of Sunday evening, the town wasn't overwhelmed just yet.

"We are ready for anything quite honestly," said Weiser Mayor Diana Thomas. "There came a time last week where they were getting a little nervous because of some of the reports, seeing how it all came together though I think they are enjoying it."

Of course, the total solar eclipse is the main event Monday, but before that there is a lot to see. At Memorial Park, Maryanne McFarland and her family are one of dozens of vendors cashing in on eclipse-mania.

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"The [eclipse] glasses sold out in Salt Lake, and the shirts are flying off [the shelves]," she said.

McFarland works as an occupational therapist in Utah, but this weekend though her job is all about pushing products.

"Whether or not we sell out, we've had a blast," she said. "We've found Weiser a really welcoming place to be."

Some visitors traveled from far and wide to be here. Michael Rossi and his friends and family drove from San Francisco to be in the path of totality at Weiser high school.

Rossi says after hearing about the tough winter Weiser had, he wanted to get out here and support the community.

MORE: Click here for complete eclipse coverage

"We intentionally didn't come up with food and didn't come up with anything because we just knew we had to come in and let them take care of us," he said.

The talk of the town Sunday night is the traffic into town. Everyone agrees: So far, so good.

"We aren't having the traffic problems they stated, it may get heavier but there is still room for more people so we hope you will come and enjoy the community," said Mayor Thomas.

PLACERVILLE

In the tiny Boise County hamlet of Placerville, festivities kicked off Friday evening as people began filing into town. On Sunday, live music from the Payette River Boys entertained the dozens of people who had gathered in the town square.

Like Weiser, traffic through Boise County was lighter than expected on Sunday. It seems most people got an early start, or plan to drive up early Monday morning.

And it's not just Idahoans in town to enjoy the eclipse.

"It's a life event for me," said Florida resident Lance Seppi. "It's something I would have pursued sometime, somewhere, somehow. So here we are."

The town is hosting a pancake breakfast on Monday morning.

Visitors to the historic mountain mining community are encouraged to take a tour of the town to learn about its fascinating history. On Sunday, KTVB's Dean Johnson did just that.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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