Wilson County Fair holds eclipse-viewing party

Jacob Smith • Aug 21, 2017 at 4:27 PM

The Wilson County Fair opened early Monday so that visitors locally and from across the country could watch the eclipse from the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

People came from as far away as Rhode Island and paid half price for tickets to watch the eclipse amongst all the attractions the fair has to offer.

“We wanted to watch the eclipse in a big city, so we came to Nashville,” said Sherry Cooper, Bay City, Mich. “When we heard there was a fair nearby, we had to come check it out.”

Crowds started to gather at the Motorsports Arena at noon as visitors used eclipse glasses that were handed out at the entrance to watch the event.

Plenty of people tried to capture a good picture with their phones and cameras.

“I got some real good ones,” said Alan Smith, of Rhode Island. “Had to turn my phone around in selfie mode, though. It still wasn’t anything like the real thing.”

When totality finally happened at 1:28 p.m., applause broke out on the fairgrounds. An announcer over loudspeakers told the crowd it was safe to look at the sun without the use of glasses.

Right after totality ended, the announcer came back on and instructed people to put on their glasses again. When the sun peeked back out from behind the moon, fireworks were set off.

Afterward, visitors were encouraged to stick around and enjoy the fair. 

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