Blue Sky Vineyard raises sculpture at point of greatest eclipse - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Blue Sky Vineyard raises sculpture at point of greatest eclipse totality

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MAKANDA -- A Union County winery at the center of totality is offering eclipse visitors a taste of southern Illinois. Blue Sky Vineyards is promising local artists, local music, and local wine for the solar eclipse.

Most people come to Blue Sky Vineyards in Makanda for the wine and the scenery, but in just over a month people can come to the winery for the total solar eclipse.

The longest duration of totality of two minutes and 40 seconds will take place on the winery grounds. To make the spot even more special owners reached out to local artists to put a piece of artwork right in the center.

"Blue Sky is now going to be an adventure because you have to go about 800 feet, still on our grounds, but going through our scenic garden-like environment into the woods, looks like a jungle adventure , go into the clear opening, climb a hill and there you are," said Barrett Rochman of Blue Sky Vineyard.

The sculpture at the center is called "Flying Too Close To The Sun," and was created by Alto Pass artist Dan Johnson.

When he was finished he said it felt like he was indeed flying towards the sun.

"You're working, fabricating as you go, and you just build it up until you think it's done, and so once it was done I had that feeling of kind of this plane or something taking off," Johnson explained.

While many people are taking off to travel here for the eclipse, you can enjoy it right here in your backyard.

"If you want to be at the point of longest duration, get to the point of longest duration, it's right here in southern Illinois, it's right here at Blue Sky if you're willing to travel 750, 800 feet you can get there," Rochman said.

And unlike many other area events, viewing the eclipse at Blue Sky is free.

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