Captivating astronomical event to attract crowds to Richfield

by Sue Serdinak

All eyes will be on the sky on April 8 as Richfield and communities in 13 states from Eagles Pass, Texas, to Maine, will be in the path of a total solar eclipse.

During this rare phenomenon, the moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, blocking sunlight for a few minutes. Observers will have the rare chance to see stars and constellations that are typically visible only at night, adding to the enchantment of the event.
During the total eclipse, when the moon completely covers the sun, the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, will become visible as a faint halo surrounding the moon. The corona is typically not visible in daylight due to the overwhelming brightness of the sun.

In addition to the visual spectacle, the total eclipse might bring a noticeable drop in temperature. Birds might stop chirping, believing that night has fallen, and nocturnal creatures may become active. Scientists are expected to observe and document behavior of wildlife.

NASA is looking for people to record information about the sounds, sights and atmosphere on the day of the total eclipse. To be an Eclipse Soundscape Observer, go to

Of course, Ohio is in transition from cooler conditions of early spring to warmer weather. April tends to have a mix of sunny, cloudy and rainy days. If it is cloudy, viewers of the eclipse may not be able to witness the full spectacle. However, some visuals might be observable. The sky will still darken, the temperature will probably drop and partial views of the eclipse may be possible.  

Local hotels report that all rooms are booked for April 7 and 8. Regardless of the weather, Richfield is likely to have hundreds or thousands of visitors, and the community has been preparing for months.

Revere schools will close because the school day will end near the height of the eclipse.  Mayor Michael Wheeler has directed the safety forces to be fully staffed and has proclaimed it will be a sunny day. Trash pickup on April 8 will start at 6 a.m. so that trucks will be off the roads during the eclipse.

Add fun to the sky watching

Last fall, the Richfield Chamber of Commerce started planning a “Celestial Celebration” in the center of town for residents and visitors.  The party will start at 1:30 p.m. and the upbeat band SLAM will begin playing at 2 o’clock. Food will be served, including Richfield Brewery’s Italian sausage sandwiches, grilled on site, and moon cookies made that day by Ocelot’s bakery. Parking will be at the Richfield Library, with overflow parking at Richfield Woods Park.

Sweatshirts and T-shirts designed by Revere student Lauren DomDera will be for sale. They recognize the historic event and poke fun at Richfield’s water tower, the tallest in the country.

The Richfield Joint Recreation District is also planning an event from 1-4 p.m. at Richfield Heritage Preserve, with burgers, hot dogs and music.

The Richfield United Church of Christ, 4340 W. Streetsboro Rd., will host an eclipse party from 1:30-4:30 p.m. with music, hot dogs and drinks. ∞

Photo: The band SLAM performed at Tri-C’s “High School Rock Off” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They will perform at the Celestial Celebration of the Eclipse on the Richfield Green on April 8. Photo by @aterromusical.

On our cover (photo): Richfield is one of the communities that will experience a total solar eclipse on April 8. Observers from around the country are expected to travel to the area.