Are You Afraid of the Dark?

On April 8th in Sidney, Ohio, the moon will totally block the bright rays of the afternoon sun at 3:09 p.m. For nearly the next 4 minutes, the entirety of this small west-central Ohio city will be blanketed by total darkness in what will essentially be the middle of the afternoon. Are you afraid of the dark?

Not since 1806 has a total solar eclipse been visible in Ohio. If you’re wondering, this same celestial event will not occur again in Ohio until 2099. In fact, only 21 times in the history of the United States has a total solar eclipse crossed the lower 48. Sounds like something worth seeing, doesn’t it?

This April 8th, the Great North American Eclipse will travel the continental US from Texas to Maine, when the moon will cast its shadow onto the Earth’s surface. This shadowed area of a total eclipse is known as the “path of totality,” and in Ohio, that path will be 124 miles wide.

Situated on the centerline on the path of totality is Shelby County, where a partial eclipse will begin around 1:54 p.m. Directly on the centerline are the Shelby County villages of Fort Loramie and Botkins, where eclipse enthusiasts will experience a whopping 3 minutes and 58 seconds of total darkness. Sidney, the county seat, is expecting 3 minutes and 52 seconds of eclipse darkness, and just to its north, the village of Anna will find its town dark for 3 minutes and 57 seconds.

Sidney, Botkins, and Anna are ideal viewing locations for several reasons. First, all are conveniently located on I75, making for the easiest possible arrival and departure access for automobiles, trucks, RVs, and campers. Secondly, being on or within a few miles of the centerline makes for optimal viewing if your goal, like most, is to maximize the “total darkness” experience. Nowhere in Ohio will you find a longer period of totality than in the Shelby County villages of Fort Loramie and Botkins.

While in the area, eclipse fans will find plenty to enjoy while leading up to the grand finale on Monday afternoon. The Sidney/Shelby County community has been planning this cosmic weekend for many months. Guests will surely enjoy the attractions, restaurants, and bars, along with camping, eclipse entertainment, and other organized activities.

Of special note, the venue that annually hosts Country Concert, a nationally known music festival, has organized an eclipse experience for campers and lovers of live music. Hickory Hill Lakes offers a three-night experience beginning Saturday, April 6th, and running through Tuesday, April 9th, where guests will enjoy food trucks, great live entertainment on Saturday & Sunday, and a DJ on Monday. No RV | No Problem. D&D RV will deliver, set up, and instruct you on using a rental RV. Deluxe electric and water hookups are available.

The Shelby County Fairgrounds is hosting a Dark Side of the Moon event, offering camping, food trucks, live entertainment, and convenience to many nearby restaurants, bistros, and attractions.

Another fun option is Total Eclipse at the Farm at Vandemark Farm in Sidney. This “agritainment” venue offers zip lines, a giant swing, miniature golf, a petting zoo, a Kids Zone play area, and more.  Perfect for camping & eclipse viewing and located only 2 minutes off I75. Not only is this an easy-on-easy-off highway option, but Vandemark Farm is conveniently located near all area restaurants, attractions, and other points of interest.

Also deserving of attention is the Under the Eclipse event at Lake Loramie State Park. Although both RV and primitive campsites are already sold out, the park is offering food trucks, cold drinks, and live entertainment on Sunday and Monday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and admission is FREE.

Arrowhead Golf Course near Fort Loramie also hosts a public viewing party plus live entertainment on April 7th and 8th. Guests will enjoy two live bands on Sunday, another live performance on Monday, food trucks each day, a full bar and soft drinks, souvenir T-shirt & Koozie, safe solar viewing glasses, golf course access, indoor restrooms, and more.

On the web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau, interested “eclipsers” can learn about these events and more planned for the weekend.

Don’t be afraid of the dark. Share the spirit in Sidney, Ohio. Your next adventure begins at

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