Eclipse brought people to Allen County Fairgrounds

LIMA — A solar phenomenon led hundreds of people to the Lima/Allen County region Monday.

At the Allen County Fairgrounds, people came from Michigan, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Pennslyvania, West Virginia and the northern parts of Ohio to view the total solar eclipse.

Frank and Elsie Hostetler traveled to Lima from Hicksville, Ohio, to watch the eclipse. The two have traveled by camper for more than 30 years, enjoying various events. Frank said the last eclipse he remembered was when he was in barber school in the 1960s.

“We have no idea what it is going to be, and that is why we are here to see what is going on,” Elise said.

The couple met in high school and married shortly after. During their 64 years of marriage, Frank and Elsie find joy in going on the road with their camper. The couple parked outside of the fairgrounds in the Walmart parking lot on the east side of Lima.

“Starting on April 3, we opened up our campgrounds. We were taking reservations for people that wanted to camp for the eclipse,” said Troy Elwer, operations manager for the Allen County Fairgrounds.

Elwer said the fairgrounds opened registration for campers so people from all over could join and watch the event.

“We had an OK amount come in for the reservation,” Elwer said. “Today, we are offering parking for $10 per car in our exterior lots. Once the folks came in and parked, they had the opportunity to walk through the gates and onto the property to walk around enjoying the scenery on a nice day.”

The fairgrounds also had a food vendor for visitors to enjoy. Elwer said around 80 cars parked at the fairgrounds to watch the total solar eclipse.

”We are appreciative to be a part of and be able to experience kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this,” Elwer said. “We tried to do our part in giving the people that are coming here the best experience possible so that they can enjoy some time with their friends and family.”


See more stories about the eclipse.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.