Residents and visitors experience totality


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — It was a weekend filled with events to celebrate a very rare occurrence in Darke County. Thousands of people were expected to invade Darke County to watch the solar eclipse in totality. The line of totality ran directly through the county.

How rare is it for Ohio to experience a total solar eclipse? Only 21 total solar eclipses have taken place in the contiguous United States over the past 250 years. For Ohio, the last time residents experienced totality was in 1806. The next total solar eclipse running through Ohio won’t take place until 2099. For those that can’t wait that long, the next total solar eclipse in the United States will take place in 2044.

While southern United States locations in line with the eclipse were expecting clouds, Darke County’s residents and visitors had a perfect view. The weather couldn’t have been better with sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 70s. That meant there were a lot of people in town and scattered throughout the county.

Early in the day downtown was busy with visitors walking up and down Broadway. A trip through county saw people getting ready for the event in church parking lots, and the Darke County Fairgrounds.

The county took on the moniker Darke Side of the Moon early in the planning stages and what better way to celebrate the event than with a Pink Floyd tribute band at BMI Center in Versailles. There were also plenty of activities in historic downtown Greenville with shopping, including a pop-up shop from KitchenAid. Music and food filled downtown throughout the weekend. Some of the fun events included Puttin’ Around Downtown, a Band Bounce with live music at various locations, and the Shop & Dine Passport where shoppers and diners could earn rewards.

The Darke County Parks held events in three locations – Shawnee Prairie Preserve and Bear’s Mill were ticketed events while eclipse watching at Prairie Ridge Meadow was free.

The Darke County Fairgrounds welcomed two sets of camping groups, approximately 300 campers, and a Food Truck Rally prior to the eclipse.

The Greenville VFW Post also held events throughout the weekend, culminating with a pre-eclipse concert featuring Triple Nickel on Monday.

Public viewing was also available at Eldora Speedway, Darke County Fairgrounds, Bradford High School, Greenville Public Library, Do Good Restaurant & Ministry, Miller Flowers & Garden Center, Goat Farmer’s Ranch, Grace church, Faith Baptist Church, J&M Ranch and Union City Country Club.

In addition to all of the events scheduled, first responders and communities around the county were prepared for the event. Fire departments and rescue units were on standby throughout the weekend. EMS offices increased their staffing in case of an emergency. Law enforcement had additional patrols. The Sheriff’s Department announced they would have more deputies on the road the day of the eclipse and the Ohio Highway Patrol sent four officers to Darke County to help with the expected increase in traffic.

Darke County EMA also prepared for the event by staffing the command center throughout Monday’s eclipse.

Keep watching for complete coverage. You can also visit the website and relive the eclipse with our livestream of the event. If you have pictures you want to share, we would love to see them. Please visit to upload your pictures.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

No posts to display