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Uptown Park celebrates the total eclipse with live music and food trucks

<p>Shirts were made and pictures were taken for this once-in-a lifetime event.</p>

Shirts were made and pictures were taken for this once-in-a lifetime event.

As the moon covered the sun on Monday, students, community members and visitors cheered at the sky, reveling in this perplexing event. The last total solar eclipse that could be viewed in Ohio was in 1806, and North America won’t be in “the path of totality” again for another 20 years, with Ohio having to wait until 2099.

To celebrate this rare natural phenomenon, the City of Oxford and Miami University held multiple viewing parties and events around campus, including one in Uptown Oxford.

Oxford Memorial Park held a “Total Eclipse of the Parks” event with food trucks, a multitude of telescopes and featured music by the band Thumbtack Mechanics before and after the eclipse. 

Gigi Sedeno, a junior architecture major, said she chose Uptown Park out of all the locations because of the ambiance the park exuded, even through the television stations roaming around.

“You don't think about how significant this is on a national scale until you see all the news anchors and stuff and then you see them and it's like, wow, this is actually important,” Sedeno said.

News anchors were posted all around Oxford, but Uptown Park in particular was a hit during the eclipse. Down the road, Brick Street Bar closed Monday’s specialty “Beat the Clock” to watch the solar eclipse entering totality, making everyone inside relocate. 

However, Brick’s attendees weren’t the only people venturing Uptown. Stella Davies, a Virginian traveler, was in Cincinnati but in a last-minute decision came to Oxford to watch the eclipse. 

She didn’t come empty handed though. Davies and her family brought a special telescope and had been doing crafts since they arrived at the park at 8 a.m. The group wore golden zip-tie crowns and took more pictures with people and the telescope than of the sky.

“Having the [telescope] here and having people come up and ask about [it] and being able to talk about and show it, it’s really cool,” Davies said. “It’s nice to be able to share this with people.”

While it’s not nine hours away like Virginia, an older sibling trio from Middletown and Kentucky made the trip to Oxford to watch the eclipse because “they felt like a party” and one of their sisters is a Miami alumna.

Besides seeing the eclipse, Carrie Reed, one of the siblings, said the group is most excited to see all the young people and drink beer.

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As the band was playing their set list and the eclipse slowly made its way to totality, Lily Keeler, a first-year early education major, said she enjoyed Uptown’s energetic atmosphere and the sense of community that the eclipse brought.

“I'm excited because everyone's saying how it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I just think it'd be super fun, especially with all my college friends, to experience it with them and experience it in Oxford,” Keeler said.