The sky's the limit for eclipse swag

Millions of tourists are expected to travel to locations on Aug. 21 along the path of the total solar eclipse that will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina. And they'll have plenty of solar swag to buy.

Not only will they find plenty of commemorative viewing glasses, T-shirts and posters, but also soaps, jewelry, eclipse-themed wines and even s'mores kits with marijuana-infused chocolate. 

Demand for eclipse stuff is skyrocketing.

"We'll definitely sell out of eclipse viewing glasses today," said Polly White, co-owner of the Great American Eclipse website, which sells merchandise and provides information about the event. "Our screen printers have been fairly frantic screen-printing shirts, but I'm done the ordering and getting those in now. I don't even know how many thousands of shirts that we've sold -- but it's a lot."

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Great American Eclipse

Among the unique items the Great American Eclipse is offering are the eclipse-theme wine varieties -- Umbra Organic Zinfandel, Umbra Organic Chardonnay and Totality, a sparkling wine made by Frey Vineyards (umbra is the moon's dark inner shadow, while totality is the term that describes when the sun is completely blocked by the moon).

Jonathan and Katrina Frey, whose family owns Frey Vinyards in Redwood Valley, California, met White and her husband Michael Zeller last year on an eclipse-watching cruise in Indonesia.

"One day on the deck of the ship, Polly and Katrina hatched a plan to craft an exclusive wine to honor this extraordinary event," according to Frey Vineyards' website.

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Great American Eclipse

According to White, people traditionally drink champagne after an eclipse, so wines weren't too much of a stretch.

The Aug. 21 eclipse will be her fifth solar eclipse and her husband's ninth.

On the East Coast, gift shop sales at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia have tripled over last year, thanks to eclipse merchandise that includes "Eclipse Poop," which is actually chocolate nut toffee, according to Jared Glover, a spokesman. The 3,500 tickets available for the museum's eclipse day events have been sold out since June.

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Eclipse-themed soap

South Carolina State Museum

Businesses in other states are also getting in on the act. 

In Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which has dubbed itself "Eclipseville," restaurants are selling eclipse-themed pizza, burgers and desserts. And in places like Oregon, which isn't only in the path of totality but is one of seven states where recreational cannabis is legal, the legal marijuana industry is doing a brisk business. Oregon's Finest, one of the state's largest dispensaries, is selling baskets filled with eclipse-themed products such as "Moonshine" joints and strains with cosmic-sounding names like "Moon Puppies" and "Starkiller."

Gron Artisan Chocolates owner Christins Smith figured the 2,800 pot-infused Eclipse Smores kits she made as a promotion for Oregon's pot dispensaries would last a week. They were gone in a matter of hours, and demand has picked up for other Gron products, such as artisanal chocolate bars.

"Our drivers are working overtime," she said. "I know the dispensaries are being super-prepared."

Leafly.com, a  website for enthusiasts, recently published a list of the best cannabis strains and related products for people to partake in while enjoying one of the wonders of the celestial world. It also offers advice for pot users about how to watch the eclipse while stoned, such as bringing eye drops to prevent dry eyes from smoking or vaping.

Of course, big companies are also trying to cash in on a phenomenon that hasn't been seen in the continental U.S since 1979.

Krispy Kreme (KKD) recently announced that it planned to offer a version of its signature glazed donut dunked in chocolate for the occasion. Volvo is providing a fleet of cars to "chase the eclipse" and will broadcast its findings through live-streaming videos and photos.  

Chiquita has even come up with a wacky "banana-themed" eclipse video. In an inventive promotion, mattress company Casper is taking over a campground in -- where else -- Casper, Wyoming, where 80 guests will get "Safari-style" canvas tents outfitted with Casper mattresses, sheets and pillows.

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    Jonathan Berr is an award-winning journalist and podcaster based in New Jersey whose main focus is on business and economic issues.