Amphitheater to host Solar Smash Bash

LIMA —All Saturday long, Lima residents and visitors will have the chance to get set for the April 8 total solar eclipse with a fun-packed event.

The Solar Smash Bash will run from 3 to 7 p.m. April 6 at the Greater Lima Region Park and Amphitheater and will feature entertainment, food and interactive exhibits for everyone interested in learning more and having a good time prior to the eclipse.

“At the (Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce), what we love is when we put something like this on for the whole community to come together,” said Julie Klingler, chamber director of programs and community development. “Because when we stand back and watch the whole thing, we see all of our partners coming together through sponsors, vendors and exhibitors promoting their business and doing it all for the community and visitors. We created this because we knew that a lot of the visitors would be coming in a little early for the eclipse.”

The free event, which will feature around seven food trucks, merchandise, interactive astronomy exhibits and entertainment provided by Columbus band Direct Energy, will give the city a chance to show off.

“We’re going to highlight how great Lima is and show everyone coming in what we’ve got that they might not be aware of,” Klingler said. “That is our spirit and our love of fun.”

The event will also mark the start of the season for the city’s newest entertainment venue, the amphitheater.

“We’ve worked with the city to make sure that everything’s ready,” Klingler said. “The grass is mowed and we just love the idea of being the first ones to open it up and welcome everyone in. We expect to have good weather and we hope everyone enjoys downtown because things are changing and exciting things are going on.”

To help everyone get around all the excitement, the city will have free parking available and the RTA trolley will be transporting passengers.

“On the webpage for our event, there is even a map for all of the parking in downtown Lima,” Klingler said. “The trolley is always a lot of fun and that’s a feature in and of itself.”

Direct Energy, a large band with a wind section, exhibits from the Lima Astronomical Society and a free photo booth will draw the most attention, but Klingler said anyone coming to the event should be sure to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

“For everyone that lives here and is coming to visit, we just want to make a great impression,” Klingler said. “We want to let them know that Lima is the place to be for the solar eclipse, but also the place to be in general. We have a great place to work and live.”

The chamber is still looking for more volunteers.

For more information on how to get involved or attend the event, visit its webpage.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.