Solar Eclipse in Champaign County: Events planned to view total eclipse

Several places in Champaign County will host events for the total solar eclipse on April 8.

The region will be a part of the path of totality, meaning the moon fully blocking the sun will be able to be seen from those areas with special glasses.

It’s expected the duration of the total solar eclipse would be roughly two to five minutes, depending on location, and is anticipated to start slightly after 3 p.m.

Moonshade Festival

This three-day festival near West Liberty will be held to celebrate the eclipse.

All weekend the event will include solar perspectives at historical Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and daily trolly rides from parking areas and parks to downtown West Liberty from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday will include fireworks at Lions Park at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday will includes dedication of the Andy Detwiler Statute from 12 to 12:30 p.m., showing the inspirational stories of Detwiler from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and stargazing at Lions Park from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday will include a dancing stars fundraiser from 5:30 to 11 p.m.

Monday will include the solar eclipse at 3:10 p.m.

A single festival pass is $15, a family pass of six people or less is $50 and a Lions Park camping with family pass is $350. The pass will give people a place to view the eclipse and access to all festival events.

For passes and more information, visit

Kiser Lake State Park

A sunblock party will be held the weekend leading up to the eclipse.

Saturday will include crafts, games and the movie Dragon Slayer.

Sunday will include learning about the solar eclipse and evening floating lighted flotillas with non-motorized boats. Bring your non-motorized kayak, canoe, row boat, paddle board or sailboat. Participants must wear a life jacket. There will be prizes, best lighted, most unique and craziest. There will be a decorated lighted boat parade that starts at dusk and moves toward the marina, goes toward the campground and ends at the beach.

Monday will include the solar eclipse and an evening post-eclipse party with snacks and music.

Grimes Municipal Airport

Grimes Field, 1636 N. Main St. in Urbana, will welcome any and all spectators for the solar eclipse. Bring your lawn chairs.

The Grimes Flying Lab Museum will be open at 10 a.m. for the first time this year to allow a walkthrough of the hangar from the ramp. There will be snacks as well as museum and eclipse glasses/merchandise.

The Airport Cafe will be open for business from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and they will also be selling eclipse glasses.

If you are flying in for this event, remember that it will be self-parking in the grass with a $10 per plane parking fee of cash only. Your “ticket” will be a custom Grimes Field sticker.

If you are driving to Grimes Field for the event, parking in the parking lots will be free. Tickets will be sold at the airport gate for $2 per person and $5 per family, cash only.

The main ramp will be closed to aircraft traffic and coned off for pedestrians to enjoy.

For questions, contact the airport manager at

Freshwater Farms

Freshwater Farms of Ohio, 2624 N. Highway 68 in Urbana, will host a viewing event for the eclipse and will be open as normal from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The food menu will include walking fish tacos, brats, hot dogs and fries. The full service bar will also be open for adult and family refreshments.

There will also be farm wagon rides and drum circle happening in addition to the normal activities.

For more information, visit

Ohio Caverns Darkness Tour

The tour will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the park will open early at 7:30 a.m., at 2210 E. State Route 245 in West Liberty.

This tour will include portions of the historic and natural wonder sections, plus a section not toured during the summer.

The first 300 guests to get tickets scanned receive an Ohio Caverns lantern for a guided tour through the caverns.

The tour ticket includes entrance into the park with eclipse viewing throughout the park, viewing glasses for eye protection and a gem bag for children ages five to 12.

The tour is guided and takes one hour. Tours will run throughout the day but pause from 1 to 3:30 p.m. for the eclipse. There are 38 steps to enter and 60 steps to exit. Tickets are available online, are limited and nonrefundable. Each person in the vehicles ages give and older must have a ticket.

Tickets are $40 for adult and children ages four to 12, and free for children under three. For tickets, visit

Champaign County

Other locations to view the eclipse include: Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools’ stadium and parking lots, Harmon Park in St. Paris, Melvin Miller Park and Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana, Goshen Park in Mechanicsburg, and Christiansburg Community Park.

For more information, visit

If your organization is offering public events related to the eclipse, email the information to

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