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Small NC town planning big eclipse party

Posted July 24

— Life in the small town of Murphy, N.C., is usually pretty quiet. But the 1,600 souls who live there are preparing for a big influx.

It is the calm before the storm for the only place in North Carolina that will see a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.

On that day at about 2:30 p.m., a shadow will cover the town and day will become night.

Barbara Hughes is the mayor's wife and one of those planning for an eclipse party.

"I think it's supposed to be total darkness," she said. "It's just so unusual in the middle of the day."

Karen Hawkins, manager of The Daily Grind bar and coffee shop sees the event as a boon to business.

"We're expecting chaos actually. We're anticipating lines out the door," she said.

"It's a beautiful thing, and I think as a society we all love collective memories, and that's what this will be."

Hotels are sold out. Traffic is expected to be heavy, but the party will go on, Hughes said.

"We're told we will have huge crowds," she said. "We'll try to tamp it down a little bit. Thank goodness we have a safety plan in place."

They also have a sense of humor in place to get them through the darkest of times.

"We've already decided that if something goes wrong, we will pretend that's the way we planned it," Hughes said.

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