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Franklin prepares for total solar eclipse

Franklin prepares for total solar eclipse – News 8 at 10

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Franklin, Indiana, is expecting hundreds of thousands of people to descend on the small city to watch the total solar eclipse on April 8.

Franklin expects four minutes and two seconds of total darkness during the eclipse, making it a hot spot destination for visitors.

The Franklin Parks and Recreation Department planned a three-day festival leading up to the eclipse, allowing visitors and locals to enjoy it together.

“We want our residents to enjoy this,” said Mayor Steve Barnett, (R) Franklin. “It will be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Maybe someday their kids or grandkids can look back and say, ‘Remember 40 years ago when we were downtown having a great time at the Eclipse Festival?’”

The Franklin Eclipse Festival will bring together activities from hot air balloon rides to wine bars and educational opportunities for the whole family.

“On Monday, we will party the whole day!,” said Holly Johnston, the recreation director of the Franklin Parks and Recreation Department. “We will have a DJ here. We will have crafts, games, and different activities for kids. We will have a representative from NASA who will be here that day, and then we’ll do a countdown to the eclipse, and of course, we’ll have a little over four minutes [of totality]. We’re excited about it.”

Johnson County officials said they are happy to put their best foot forward to show everything they have to offer to visitors.

“We can’t host a Super Bowl or an Indy 500 like our friends to the north, but this is our Super Bowl,” said Ken Kosky, the executive director of Festival Country Indiana, the tourism arm of Johnson County. “We’re going to hopefully bring in 100,000 people or more, and show them a good time. Show them our Johnson County, our Franklin, our Greenwood hospitality, and hopefully they’ll enjoy their time so much they’ll return.”

The Franklin Eclipse Festival will start on April 6, two days before the eclipse. The festivities will run through the eclipse and into the evening to help slow the departure of hundreds of thousands of people out of Franklin.

Franklin officials said they are planning for at least 100,000 people, but said up to 300,000 people may come to the small city.

Franklin officials have safety plans in place and have worked out logistics over the last year and a half.