From the Editor: A Look Back at the April Eclipse

The total eclipse over Lake Erie may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but moments of wonder and celebration don’t have to be.

Nobody knew what to expect on April 8.

Sure, we knew the moon was going to eclipse the sun — and it would be dark for about two minutes. But, beyond that, there were a lot of unknowns.

How many boats would be on Lake Erie? Many suspected chaos, which would surely be exacerbated by boaters unaccustomed to early April weather. The U.S. Coast Guard even issued the following warning: “Be aware that rapid changes in light may affect spatial perception and visibility.”

Then there was traffic. You’d hear that some 500,000 visitors were expected in the area. Some even said more than a million. The highways were supposed to be gridlocked.

And could a cloudy day ruin it all? Where I live, just west of Cleveland, the forecast certainly looked gloomy.

But, true to its nature, Lake Erie weather didn’t follow any forecast. At 2 p.m., when the show began, it was sunny and warm enough to sit on the patio in my backyard for several hours and take it all in.

I don’t have to tell you what came next because you surely saw it for yourself. My favorite video of the day was shot at the beach in Mentor, Ohio, by Kym Lunardi (@kymliveshere). You can find it on our Instagram page (@lakeerieliving) by scrolling down to the April 9 post that shows people on the beach in the bottom of the frame. 

At the moment of totality, the crowd erupted into cheers all at once. It was transcendent. It lifted you above the moment and outside of yourself. It also united you with everyone who saw the same thing as you at the same time. 

The next day, we put up a poll on Instagram asking if the eclipse lived up to the hype and 95% of respondents said that it did.

While we won’t have another total eclipse in these parts until 2099 we can still experience mini moments of awe thanks to our great lake. Watching the sun set, seeing a storm whip up the waves or even strolling along a calm Lake Erie all give us a bit of that awe.

The lake is also a brilliant setting for an awful lot of fun including tons of festivals, concerts, gatherings and get-togethers. 

Check them out in our 2024 summer feature story here, at our events page or by subscribing to The Splash newsletter — your guide to the best food, drinks, parks, beaches, shopping, entertainment and more.