Total solar eclipse mania hits Cleveland
Forget Opening Day or the Cavaliers making the playoffs. The next total solar eclipse is the talk of the town these days, despite the fact it's still a year — a year — away.
Driving the news: Monday, April 8, 2024, will mark the first time Cleveland has been in the full path of a total solar eclipse in more than 200 years.
- Northeast Ohio experienced only partial blockage during the last eclipse in 2017.
Why it matters: This time around, Cleveland will be one of just 13 major cities in the "path of totality."
- Great American Eclipse estimates anywhere from 139,000 to 556,000 people might visit the city on April 8, based on how drivable Cleveland is from neighboring states.
Zoom out: Other major cities in the path of totality include San Antonio, Dallas, Indianapolis and Buffalo.
Details: The eclipse will occur at 2:07pm, making it look like dawn in the middle of the afternoon, and will last for nearly four minutes.
- Cleveland won't be in the path of totality again until the year 2444, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The intrigue: The city should already have a big audience in town.
- Destination Cleveland estimates that about 40,000 people will attend the Final Four of the 2024 Women's NCAA Tournament on April 5 and 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
- The eclipse could also come on the heels of spring break for many families and coincide with the start of baseball season and next year's NBA playoffs.
Meanwhile, Destination Cleveland has already launched an eclipse online information center equipped with a countdown clock.
- Both the Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Museum of Natural History are hosting kickoff events this weekend to mark one year out.
What they're saying: Emily Lauer, spokesperson for Destination Cleveland, tells Axios the eclipse will attract people who have never visited the area.
- "We know through our research that once people come to Cleveland they have positive perceptions and will return," Lauer says.
💭 Troy's thought bubble: I suppose preparing a year in advance for an event that won't happen in Cleveland again for another 420 years isn't all that crazy.
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