From near and far, they traveled to South Carolina's state capital for the first solar eclipse in 38 years.
"Pretty stoked about it, yeah," Bill Bates, who traveled to South Carolina for the eclipse, told Local 10 News. "Hopefully we'll have clear weather."
In the coast-to-coast path of totality, Columbia will have the longest total eclipse on the East Coast -- a full two-and-a-half minutes of total darkness as the moon moves to blot out the sun at 2:41 p.m.
"(There are) supposed to be a lot of people coming from out of town," resident Tony Adams said.
He's right. Hotel rooms in the city have been booked for months. Room rates Sunday night topped more than $1,000 for what is typically known as a budget-minded hotel chain.
The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from the U.S. was in 1979, and then just in the upper northwest. What was then the distant future -- 2017 -- is here. Much has changed since then, but not the entrepreneurial spirit.
"Business has just been booming," Chase Martin told Local 10.
The enterprising family at the side of the road said they have sold 1,000 solar filter glasses since Wednesday -- at $10 each.
There is seemingly high demand and a short supply for the glasses.
"Do you all have the monopoly on these glasses? Does anyone else still have stock?" Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg asked.
"They just don't have any left," Will Lorick answered. "We do."
The Great American Eclipse, as it's called, is inspiring a country with science, spirituality and maybe inspiring future astrophysicists.
Andrea Doneheu, who was traveling with her 3-year-old granddaughter to see the eclipse, sure hopes so.
"Maybe a beginning of some science love in her," Doneheu said.
Follow Local 10 News' live coverage of the solar eclipse on Local10.com and use the complete guide to be prepared.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.