Total eclipse of the Shores & Islands

It might be a year away, but with such a major event, it takes some major planning.

In anticipation of this once-in-a-lifetime viewing, Shores & Islands Ohio has launched a web page dedicated to this phenomena. The Helm caught up with Chris Lewis, Marketing and Sales Director of Shores & Islands Ohio, to find out how watchers can use the site to plan out their total eclipse activities.

Why did Shores & Islands Ohio choose to develop a web page dedicated to the eclipse?

Shores & Islands Ohio has an online presence that is as dynamic as the destination itself. The region, which features locations such as Sandusky, Cedar Point, Put-in-Bay, and more, is known for its exciting attractions, vibrant communities, and a variety of activities, which combined make for an amazing travel destination.

This is going to be a once in a lifetime event. The last total solar eclipse in Ohio was in 1806 and the next total solar eclipse in Ohio will not be until 2099. So, as we were meeting with local communities and businesses, many were already making plans to host visitors, planning solar eclipse festivals and viewing parties.

We don’t want anyone to be left in the dark! We wanted to help with promoting the large number of events and information with centralized location for local residents, businesses, and visitors who are planning their trips. This is also another opportunity to showcase the entire destination to potential visitors, many who may not have ever been here before.

What can people expect to find on the site?

This page provides links to information and resources to help visitors safely enjoy the solar eclipse and make memories to last a lifetime. The site will provide information on all solar eclipse related events and promotions in the area. But it also provides information to help visitors plan their stay such as lodging, restaurants, attractions, and things to do. There’s even a chart on our website that provides information on communities, exact time the totality will start in the community, and duration of totality.

We want people to safely enjoy the solar eclipse and make memories of a lifetime. There will be information on how visitors can pick up solar eclipse glasses from our Welcome Centers and partners across the destination.

How will the site change throughout the year leading up to the eclipse?
It will continuously be changing because more events and promotions will get added throughout the year. We are also including information from NASA with details about the total solar eclipse and what to expect that day.

How can people contribute to the site?
There’s an online form on the site for local businesses and the communities to complete with solar eclipse event information. We wanted to make collecting information as easy and efficient as possible. Once the form is complete, the event details will be updated on the calendar on the site. All the events will provide more detailed event information, dates, times, and link to the event website.

While we are excited about all the festivals and events, we are asking that events
encourage visitors to Arrive Early, Stay Late! With the total solar eclipse happening on a Monday, it would be ideal to host festivals and events throughout the weekend and possibly stay overnight.

With a surge of visitors coming to our area for the total solar eclipse means there will be extra traffic. It would be ideal for visitors to stay for several days rather than trying to arrive and depart on the same day.

How many people do you expect to come to the area for the eclipse?
Ohio is within a one-day drive for 70% of the U.S. population, which makes Ohio a target destination for many people who want to view a total solar eclipse in their lifetime. Due to the path of the total solar eclipse, Erie and Ottawa counties will be high-demand viewing areas for visitors. It is expected that on the day of the eclipse, the local population in our area could triple or quadruple. Total estimated visitors coming to Ohio is between 139,000 to 556,000.

Why is the Shores and Islands area the perfect place to watch the eclipse?
Shores & Islands Ohio is an ideal location to experience the solar eclipse. There’s plenty of unobstructed views on and around Lake Erie. There’s also a variety of spaces to host viewing events in each community. There’s going to be a lot of creative festivals and events being planned.

Even in April, there’s so much to do in our area before, during, and after the solar eclipse. Visitors coming to Shores & Islands Ohio to witness the total solar eclipse can easily turn the trip into a celestial vacation.

For information on where to watch the eclipse, where to celebrate, and where to stay, be sure to visit the 2024 Solar Eclipse in Ohio website.