Merchants are planning an eclipse party in August

Paul Clark

This may be the strangest party Black Mountain has ever seen - or not seen, as the case may be - and it’s going to last all weekend (and then some).

A group of downtown merchants is organizing a weekend’s worth of activities Aug. 18-21 around the Monday, Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. In Black Mountain, the moon will block 98.9 percent of the sun.

“It’ll be something to see,” said one of the merchants, Kim McMurtry at Europa. “It’s the first time we’ve had a total eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years.”

But why a party?

“Why not?” McMurtry said. Having one will mean that residents and visitors won’t have to go anywhere to see the eclipse and have some fun.

“As downtown merchants, we’re always looking for ways to attract people to our area and provide things for them to do in addition to shopping and dining,” McMurtry said.

The group of merchants - they call themselves Downtown Event Planners - has been working on this for months. The event planners are hoping that anyone who has anything to offer - time, talent, money and/or expertise in the solar eclipse area - will contact them at

Events so far include a Friday night outdoor movie at The Junction, a Saturday night wine walk hosted by The Merry Wine Market and a Monday afternoon eclipse party on Town Square featuring the The Big Deal Band. Some downtown shops will be offering special discounts that weekend.

The party and music begin at 1 p.m., with the eclipse happening at 2:38 p.m. Special glasses will be available for those who want to look at the eclipse directly, McMurtry said.

Other downtown events organized and led by shop owners include the annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade and the recent Merchant Sidewalk Sale.

Eclipse info

Learn more about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse at