Warren reacts to rare total eclipse

Times Observer photos provided by Warren County Visitors Bureau Pictured in this photo is Warren County Visitors Bureau during the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

There isn’t an exact count of how many visitors came to Warren County to view the solar eclipse last week – but county tourism officials say visitors were here.

According to the Warren County Visitors Bureau, many first time visitors sought out Warren to watch the eclipse because they could stay in the path of totality of the eclipse but not be near too much congestion or traffic. Visitors from areas including Philadelphia, Lancaster, Williamsport and even Rhode Island stopped by the visitor bureau that Monday.

“I don’t have an estimate of the total number of people brought into the community, but it seemed significant,” said John Papalia, senior vice president of the Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry. “People utilized locations all around the county including downtowns, the Miracle Mountain Ranch event and other various watch parties. We also noticed people viewing from their yards — with family and friends.”

As Papalia pointed out some individuals had planned locations, but it seems many just kind of found a convenient spot to stop and safely look up.

“From what I could tell, people did a decent job of spreading out to avoid congestion. Miracle Mountain had hundreds of people and was the largest organized location, to our knowledge,” said Casey Ferry, executive director of the Warren County Visitors Bureau. “The visitors bureau’s spacious location, along Route 6, proved to be a popular spot for those who hadn’t necessarily planned a particular place to go, as we had over 100 people gather here unplanned.”

Shown is Harper Smith, 2, of Warren, staring intently up at the sky waiting to see the solar eclipse.

Warren, being the western most city in Pennsylvania to be in the path of totality, made it a desirable location to set up and witness the eclipse, the first since 2017 in the continental U.S.

“Before the eclipse, we were told that being in totality was a completely different experience than being in 99%, and that was very true. The experience of brief total darkness was something you just can’t describe,” said Ferry. “I can see why people travel for that experience. What a blessing to have the opportunity here.”

Ferry continued to explain her own experience, “The eclipse was an awesome experience that, from what I could tell, went well all around, with many happy people and without major issues. We did have some cloud cover at some times, but, even so, the sky opened up through most of it and gave a great show.

“From where I was at Miracle Mountain Ranch, along with hundreds of other people, there was a moment when the clouds gave way during totality. The sky went dark, and everyone began cheering in a way that was almost deliriously happy. It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Ferry said.

Because the townships and boroughs of Warren County prepared for the solar eclipse well in advance everything went smoothly and locals and visitors alike enjoyed the opportunity.

“I think everything that day went well, and it was nice to see the community embrace the opportunity to view the eclipse. It was a special moment,” said Paplia. “The event really brought the community together in a positive way.”

Ferry agreed. She stated the eclipse was “an opportunity for Warren County to shine.”

“People who may not have traveled here otherwise got to see the beauty in the nature and in the people, and I’m sure some of them will return to explore more,” said Ferry. “That is the ultimate goal of experiences like that.”


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