Miami boasts best view of solar eclipse in Oklahoma
MIAMI, Okla. (KTUL) – Miami residents are starting to realize their town is going to be a big deal next month.
On August 21 it will be the best place in the state to see the solar eclipse.
So they will welcome anyone who’d like to share it with them.
Miami has always been a Route 66 landmark, but they’re looking forward to a future that includes a lot more, such as better housing and more things to do in their historic downtown area.
The attention from the solar eclipse is a nice bonus that may bring more visitors to their city.
At Waylan’s Ku Ku on Main Street they’ll provide all the Double Giant Hamburgers that eclipse watchers could ever want.
Owner Gene Waylan is worried about the weather spoiling things, but he’s glad his town will be in on the event.
“I heard about Kansas City, and maybe Tennessee, maybe being the hot spot, but I never thought about Miami being a part of it,” he said.
Waylan said he is fine with an estimated darkness of about 93 percent, and Miami having Oklahoma’s best view.
The town has had economic and environmental issues, so they're happy for the bright light cast by a darkened day.
The city’s people are proud that they’re taking down blighted buildings while improving their housing and downtown area.
Kristi McClain, Miami’s Economic Development Director, and she said their town is making real progress.
“Any attention we get is exciting,” she said. “So, it’s nice to know you don’t have to go all the way there. All the way to the total eclipse site.”
Over at Rockdale Elementary School, classes start a few days before the eclipse, and the teachers are gearing up for a huge science lesson in the sky.
Principal Andrea Berry said all 180 of their students will witness the event with special safety glasses.
“Years from now, they'll be telling their children and grandchildren about that one day at Rockdale Elementary when they had the opportunity to observe a total solar eclipse," Berry said. "It’s amazing!”
They expect the peak of the eclipse to be just after 1 p.m. on August 21.