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Weiser expecting massive turnout for once in a lifetime eclipse

People will be flocking to the small Idaho town from around the country and the world to see a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse.

The city of Weiser has a population of about 5,500, but this summer they are expecting to host 50,000 thousand people in one day.

On Aug. 21, the streets of Weiser will be filled with tourists and locals wearing pairs of solar glasses. People will be flocking to the small Idaho town from around the country and the world to see a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse.

The city of Weiser is predicting that 50-60,000 people will be visiting the small town for the solar eclipse.

Patrick Nauman owns the Weiser classic candy shop and is helping organize the event. He says people are planning on traveling to Weiser from around the world because the town is supposed to be the second best viewing spot for the extremely rare eclipse.

"The interest is overwhelming as far as (the number of people) we expect to come into Weiser over the course of the weekend," Nauman said. "The last total eclipse that happened in the United States itself was 40 years ago, a little over 40 years ago. It's been over 100 years, actually 99 years I guess since the last one happened all the way across the country."

Spectators will have to wear protective glasses as they watch the moon pass between the sun and earth and start to block the sun. For two minutes and five seconds, the moon will block the sun and create a full eclipse.

"That's when day will become night," Naumann said. "It will be pitch black as if it's midnight, the stars will come out (and) the birds will try to go to sleep."

After the rough winter Weiser had, businesses are glad to have so many tourists coming to the area. Especially D&L Coffee Co., because the owners just bought the shop in December. Laura Phillips, the owner of D&L Coffee Co., says she can't wait to experience everything Weiser has to offer.

"I am super excited for the eclipse," Phillips said. "Of course I have to get through Fddle Fest, I haven't done that yet because I'm new to the area but I think the influx of people and the fun and excitement for this one-day event is going to just bring everyone in."

The community is excited to move on from the snow, and focus on the sun. Nauman says the city plans on using school and park property to let visitors gather to view the eclipse. Weiser is planning a four-day eclipse festival that will lead up the actual eclipse which will be Aug. 21 at 11:25 a.m.

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