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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Cleveland in path of totality for 2024 solar eclipse

Surge of visitors expected for rare event
Total solar eclipse passes over United States
Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2023-06-22 11:21:01-04

CLEVELAND — Sometimes the stars align, and Cleveland is thrust into the spotlight. On April 8, 2024, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to Northeast Ohio to witness a total solar eclipse.

Jay Reynolds is a research astronomer at Cleveland State University. He said total eclipses happen about twice a year, but it’s been about 200 years since the path of totality crossed our area.

“It’s rare. It’s worth it,” he said. “Oftentimes, they’re in Antarctica or in the Sahara Desert or someplace where we are not.”

In 2017, Cleveland saw a partial eclipse.

“We did a very nice event in 2017. We had about 10,000 people come out,” he said.

But the 2024 solar eclipse will be an event that you don’t want to miss.

“It will be dark here for about four minutes. That’s a long time. When the sun is completely blocked you will just look up and say, ‘Oh my gosh.’ The birds go to sleep. It’s dark. It’s incredible,” said Reynolds.

The total eclipse will be right after Cleveland hosts the NCAA Women’s Final Four Tournament. It will be a big spring for tourism.

“We can showcase our sports town as well as our great outdoors,” said Emily Lauer, the Vice President of PR for Destination Cleveland. “We are going to get to talk about two of the things that make Cleveland great all in a 24-hour period.”

She expects hundreds of thousands of people to flock to Northeast Ohio for the total eclipse.

“There were a lot of different places that really capitalized on the total solar eclipse and saw visitors in the six figures,” she said.

The organization is already preparing, and you can learn more here.

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