Local businesses preparing for solar eclipse

WAPAKONETA — The total solar eclipse is just weeks away, and it will be a big boost for the local economy.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in the line of totality,” said Stephanie Kennedy, the co-owner of TipBacks in Wapakoneta.

The wine and craft beer hub loves to get in on a good theme.

“We are used to bringing in themed items for all of our events,” Kennedy said.

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The eclipse is no different. There will be a special eclipse-themed wine and even a bourbon complete with an eclipse label.

“Everybody’s just going to want to taste it you know because of the of the name,” Kennedy said.

From stickers to candles and even t-shirts, Wapakoneta is all in on the total eclipse.

“It means so much to the community,” said Jackie Martell, the Executive Director of the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce.

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She’s been working for years to make sure this community is ready for what the total eclipse will bring.

The Ohio Emergency Management Association has been helping them know just how many to expect.

“The estimates that they give us are well over 100,000 people for Auglaize County,” Martell said. “We have less than 10,000 people that live here but this is not unusual for us.”

Being the home of Neil Armstrong, they’ve attracted large crowds of space enthusiasts. in years past, like the anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.

“An event like this really does help them with the ability to operate in such a small town,” Martell said.

For business owners like Kennedy, they’re prepared for whatever happens, but one thing is for sure. Come about 3 p.m. on April 8th, the moon will Eclipse the sun.

“I mean the number of people that will all be looking at the sky at the same time. That’s kind of bigger than yourself,” Kennedy said.

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