Village prepares for solar eclipse in 2024


By Alixandria Wells-Good

Contributing writer

MECHANICSBURG – Community members and leaders from the Village of Mechanicsburg met on Monday, Oct. 11 to discuss preparations for the upcoming solar eclipse.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass over North America. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon casts its shadow on the earth as it passes between the earth and the sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon appears to completely obscure the sun.

According to NASA, “the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT. The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The eclipse will enter Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The eclipse will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT.”

A 124-mile wide band throughout Ohio will be in the “path of totality,” areas outside of that path will experience a partial eclipse. According to, the last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio will be in the year 2099.

The Village of Mechanicsburg, and Champaign County, are within that path of totality.

Community leaders such as Mayor Greg Kimball, Police Chief David Patrick, and Mechanicsburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Danielle Prohaska, among others, were present to discuss the upcoming major event.

Items discussed included the need for local businesses to prepare for a large influx of people. That includes making preparations to have enough things like food, gasoline, and other necessities. At this time, it is unclear what local businesses have planned, if they will remain open, etc.

Parking and traffic were two main points of discussion. Patrick stated that the police department is already making plans to be as staffed as possible, and that safety is their number one concern. He shared that the department will be meeting with local EMA, county, etc. groups to specifically plan for public safety during this time.

Prohaska stated that the school parking lots will be open to the public for day use, and the stadium will be open for viewing. She also stated that school groups are considering opening concession stands.

Local business owner Paul Kurtz of Hemisphere Coffee Roasters questioned what rules the village has regarding temporary camping within village limits. The group was unclear on what those rules were, and clarification was asked for at upcoming meetings.

The Goshen Township Memorial Park is considering holding an event and/or camping. Discussion was had about possible food trucks, selling t-shirts as a fundraiser for the park, and other things that could be done.

The group plans to continue to meet to help make sure that the community is prepared for the solar eclipse. The next meeting was not planned at this time.

Reach the writer at [email protected]

No posts to display