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It’s going to get dark Aug. 21 during the eclipse, but you can spend the afternoon with plenty of people at “Rock the Eclipse in Black Mountain.”

The Monday, Aug. 21 event organized around the 2:38 p.m. eclipse culminates the Aug. 18 and 19 “Rock the Eclipse” events that precede it. All are meant to “get people to visit our delightful little town,” said Corinne Bello, one of the organizers.

She’s one of a handful of downtown merchants who have been working on the event for months.

On Friday, Aug. 18, there’s a free movie at dark, "Teenagers from Outer Space," behind The Junction on Black Mountain Avenue.  Fresh popcorn and soft drinks will be available for purchase. People are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and come dressed as their favorite alien or Martian.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, downtown shops with a wine glass balloon out front will be open from 5-7 p.m. for “Sip & Shop,” an after-hours shopping event.

The party around the big event on Monday, Aug. 21 at Town Square in Black Mountain starts at 1:30 p.m. with music by Jordan Okrend. The eclipse (98.9 percent in Black Mountain) will occur at 2:38 p.m., and the partial eclipse will end at 4:01 p.m.

The event is meant to draw more people to downtown Black Mountain, organizers said. As a way of doing that, they’ve issued “passports” available now at participating shops. The passports entitle the bearers to a 10 percent discount in the shops Aug. 18-21 (except for items already discounted). Three or more purchases of at least $10 earns a stamp in the passport that enters the bearer in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate. The winning entry will be drawn Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Each purchase of $10 or more also nets the buyer a pair of eclipse glasses, which will be available at Design Driven Studio, Europa, SCORE!, The Dancing Dragonfly and Visions of Creation.

Merchants scheduled to participate in "Rock the Eclipse" as of last week are Black Mountain Quilts, Black Mountain Yarn Shop, Chifferobe Home & Garden, Common Housefly, C.W. Moose Trading Co., Design Driven Studio, Europa, Giftcrafts, Krista Anne’s, Periwinkles, SCORE!, Sweet on Cherry Street, The Curiosity Shoppe, The Dancing Dragonfly and Visions of Creation.

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