THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE

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What do mud and a solar eclipse have in common? The Great American Solar Eclipse and the 573 Mud Festival that’s what. The Great American Solar Eclipse happens Monday, August 21, 2017 and the City of Perryville is in direct path of the solar event. Perryville is planning to hold a stellar solar celebration and 573 Magazine will be in the thick of it. 573 will hold the 573 Solar Mud Fest the day before the event and a 573 Solar Chalk Fest a week before the event. If you’d like to volunteer to help the Mud Festival or the Chalk Art Festival send your request to editor@573mag.com or call 573.756.9933. We will have more information in coming issues of 573.

Perryville has a unique front row seat to possibly the greatest solar eclipse the United States will ever see with a 2 hour and 34 minute show. Wow, that’s an eclipse. Perryville is expecting a great influx of solar peepers as well. During the event and with a city population of 8,225, Perryville and the surrounding area will be expecting nearly 30,000 visitors.

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We caught up with Trish Erzfeld, Chairwoman of the Perry County Eclipse task force to get the skinny on this fat event. We met her at the Perryville Municipal Airport where she was assisting Dave Bohlmann with a test of his equipment he plans to launch on the day of the event. He will be sending his 7-foot balloon to 100,000 feet above the earth into the stratosphere during the eclipse. The balloon will gather data on any effects the event has on wind, temperature and atmospheric pressure. His helium filled balloon will expand to more than 35 feet wide and then burst, returning his cameras and sensors filled with data safely to earth via parachute. The cool thing is Bohlmann will be watching and broadcasting the entire event live from his website.

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The balloon rises for about two hours before it bursts and it takes about an hour to return to the ground and you guessed it-not anywhere near the
Perryville Airport. In fact, Bohlmann and his team will track the devise via GPS some 150 miles to the east before a recovery can take place.

Believe it or not, Bohlmann has been studying this event for 48 years and now his big day is almost here. To say he is a bit excited is an understatement. You can see the passion all over his face.

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