Westfield attracts thousands for total eclipse


The eclipse has come and gone, but those special viewing glasses still have plenty of life left in them.

The City of Westfield is collecting used eclipse glasses, which will be donated to school children in Latin America to view the annular eclipse in October 2024. Glasses can be dropped off in the vestibule of Westfield City Services, 2728 E. 171st. St. The vestibule is open 24 hours a day.

The April 8 eclipse marked the culmination of countless hours of work and planning that brought more than 5,600 people to Grand Park to see the celestial event.

“The event was a huge success,” Westfield’s Communications Director Kayla Arnold said. “We started working on the event nearly two years ago with Hamilton County Tourism. We’ve had dozens of meetings with the county organizing committee, public safety, and internal planning meetings. It’s hard to add up all of those hours but I do know there were several employees on-site for 15 hours (April 8).”

While the event was an unusual one, the city of Westfield was well prepared for the large-scale coordination effort needed to host thousands of visitors, particularly at Grand Park. In addition to the millions of visitors Grand Park sees for sporting events, the city also hosts Westfield Rocks the 4th at Grand Park each summer. Arnold said the set up for the eclipse was similar, with a stage, inflatables, food trucks and activities for kids.

Arnold added that there were no significant traffic delays or other adverse events April 8.

“Whether they attended our event or chose to celebrate elsewhere, we hope that everyone took a moment to enjoy the stillness and beauty of the eclipse,” Arnold said. “It was an incredible experience to see the skies change and feel the temperature drop — it’s something we may not witness again in our lifetime, unless we choose to travel to the next one.”

Arnold said Kristen Mix, Community Events Coordinator with Westfield Welcome, provided organizers for the event with the saying “the universe chose us” for April 8.

“We hope that we made it a memorable experience for those that attended,” she said.

In addition to local viewers, Arnold said Westfield’s event also attracted visitors from Germany, Australia, and Northern Ireland.

While the next total eclipse is Aug. 12, 2026, over Russia, Greenland, Iceland and Spain, the next total eclipse in the United States takes place Aug. 22, 2044, and will be visible in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. A total eclipse will also cross the U.S. Aug. 12, 2045.