Solar Eclipse at the Moonshade Festival

By: Alli Harlan

West Liberty has worked tremendously hard for their upcoming Moonshade Festival during the weekend of the Total Solar Eclipse. 

Many events are planned for the community as it is an easy way to stay local to watch a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse. 

Chair of the Moonshade Festival Committee, Jill McKelvey shares her excitement: 

The festival starts with a bang on Friday, April 5th, at Lions Park, where you can view fireworks at dusk.

Saturday is “The Harmless Farmer Day”. Andy Detwiler’s bronze statue will be unveiled on the north side of the Town Hall.

In the opera house on Saturday, a story on Andy’s life will be shared as he touched many lives. 

Then, on Saturday night you can star gaze at Lions Park near the Main Shelter House at the basketball court. 

Moving into Sunday, you can dance the night away at 5:30 p.m.

A dance competition, “Star Crossed Love and the Bridge Dance Competition in the Opera House” will be a light-hearted, fun evening, with the ‘celebrity dance couples.’

“Star Crossed Love” is named after a Lancaster Ohio bridge builder, William M. Black, and a Champaign County woman, Isabelle Lafferty who came into the area to promise financial gain. 

However, they did not keep up with the bridge, but fell in love and stayed in the area for over 30 years.

Proceeds from this event will support the renovation of the Columbus Street Bridge.

On Monday, April 8th, you can view the Total Solar Eclipse right in the village of West Liberty at the Lions Park, or even in your backyard. 

West Liberty is considered an area with 100% totality where it will be dark at 3:10 p.m. 

Even more excitement will be held at the Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek on April 5th, 6th, and 7th where you can take a tour from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

On April 8th, you can tour the castle from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., then watch the eclipse from the lawn. 

Businesses in the area will have extended hours, along with food trucks in the village, and you can even get a trolly ride through downtown West Liberty. 

Free parking is available at Theresa’s Gingerbread House and many churches in the area.

If you would like to purchase tickets for this festival, you can do so HERE (

Tickets run from $10 per person or $50 for a family of up to 6 people.

When purchasing, you will receive:

  • Reserved viewing on April 8th.
  • A parking spot for Monday
  • Pair of Certified ISO solar eclipse glasses
  • Trolley Rides all weekend
  • Discounts at local businesses
  • 1 free admission for the Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek

Camping is also available at Lions Park for $150, which includes a family festival pass.

You can reserve an electric hook-up spot HERE ( )

The committee is selling the following Moonshade Festival Apparel:

  • Glow-in-the-dark shirts, long sleeves, and hoodies that can be picked up in the Village Office or shipped to you.
  • Thermal color-changing cups will be used at Stoner’s Ice Cream Parlor, Maries Candies, and Sweetie Pie’s Cafe and Bake Shop.
  • ISO-certified Solar Eclipse viewing glasses can be picked up at the Village Office or Rusty Crow in Degraff.

You can order it HERE (

For more information on this exciting event, you can visit, or download their new app on Apple Store or Google Play, just look up “Feel @ Home WL.”