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Small Illinois village preps for second total eclipse in 7 years

Illinois village preps for second total eclipse
Small Illinois village preps for second total eclipse in 7 years 02:04

In a cosmic coincidence, the southern Illinois village of Makanda is preparing for yet another total solar eclipse. The town of roughly 600 people sits right at the intersection of where the path of the last total eclipse in 2017 meets the path of Monday's upcoming eclipse

It's a phenomenon that on average occurs only once around every 375 years, according to NASA.

In 2017, the moon blocked the sun in Makanda for 2 minutes and 42 seconds — longer than anywhere else, according to NASA — and thousands of visitors flocked to the tiny village to see it. Makanda festival coordinator Debbie Dunn is expecting just as many people this year, although Makanda won't have the longest amount of totality this time around.

"I had some butterflies, out of this world for sure, and I had never experienced anything like that, ever," one spectator told CBS News in 2017. "That's why we wanted to come here."

Dunn said the last eclipse made her emotional, "and it was totally unexpected."

"Mother nature. In awe," she said.

Back then, artist Dave Dardis painted an orange line through his shop, which he said represented the center of the path of totality. Asked how he felt about being able to see another total solar eclipse, he told CBS News at the time, "If I'm still alive, I think that will be great!"

CBS News caught up with the artist, now 75, who is still very much looking forward to Monday's eclipse. He's repainted the line in his store, although this year it's just symbolic and won't actually match up with the centerline path of the moon's shadow. 

Artist Dave Dardis paints an orange line through his shop representing the path of the moon's shadow. Roxana Saberi/CBS News

He's also creating 1,000 pieces of jewelry for the celestial occasion. Last time, he said, he sold out of all his pendants three days before the big event.

"It feels great, especially if you can make some money while you're feeling great and sharing it with friends," Dardis said this year.

Eclipse pendants created by artist Dave Dardis for sale in Makanda, Illinois. Roxana Saberi/CBS News

That sentiment echoed down the boardwalk of the self-declared "hippie town."

At Makanda Java Country Store, Genie Schropp is selling solar eclipse-themed T-shirts and trucker hats, as well as Makanda Java Eclipse coffee blend, made special just for the big day.

"Colombia dark roast," she said, "the darkest coffee you can buy here."

After Monday, the next total solar eclipse in the U.S. won't be until 2044, and that eclipse's path of totality won't cut through Makanda. But the locals don't seem to mind. They said they already can't believe their astronomically good luck.

"I don't need to see three," Dardis joked. "Just asking for one is enough. But two?"

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