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In less than two weeks, over one million people are expected to visit Texas to witness the total solar eclipse, which is estimated to inject over $1 billion into the state’s economy. The city of Red Oak is bracing for an unconventional Monday as the solar eclipse will cast darkness over the city for just over four minutes.

Phillip Hughes and his sister, Michelle Bezanilla, are preparing their breakfast and lunch spot, Gravy, for the influx of visitors. They are planning to streamline their menu and bring in additional help to manage the expected crowds. The economic impact of the eclipse is estimated to be nearly $1.4 billion in Texas, with $13 million in Ellis County alone where Red Oak is located.

The Red Oak Area Chamber of Commerce is anticipating a significant increase in revenue, with President and CEO Clint Woodward stating that the eclipse will be a major event for the community. Preparation is key for local businesses, including hiring extra staff, ensuring sufficient inventory, and advising residents to stock up on essentials ahead of time.

Woodward emphasizes that the event will extend beyond just Monday, potentially starting as early as Friday and lasting through the weekend. At Gravy, the owners are looking forward to the event as an opportunity to engage with new customers and create a festive atmosphere. They plan to celebrate the eclipse with their guests and offer a unique experience to mark the occasion.

As the eclipse approaches, the community is gearing up to welcome visitors and capitalize on this rare celestial event. The anticipation is high in Red Oak, with plans underway to make the most of the economic boost and create a memorable experience for all who come to witness

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