Eclipse delivers what it promised for Columbia, record crowds come

It was amazing” were the words spoken over and over, describing the Total Solar Eclipse that occurred over Columbia for close to three minutes, Monday.

Some said the eerie loss of the sun’s light, and then the darkness, left them speechless, and truly in awe.

Visitors came from several foreign countries and dozens of states, to Columbia, to see the eclipse.

From Finlay Park and Riverwalk, to the Historic Columbia Speedway and Spirit Communications Park, thousands were part of public gatherings to commemorate the eclipse. The next Total Solar Eclipse that will span from coast-to-coast in the United States will not occur until Aug. 12, 2045. More than 2,500 came to West Columbia’s Riverwalk at the Gervais Street Bridge Monday. It was was one of the largest crowds there ever. But the numbers were bigger elsewhere. 

A crowd of 9,629 fans – a new Spirit Communications Park record – was on hand for the eclipse. The previous single game attendance record was set on July 4, 2016 at 9,228. Spirit Communications Park. Columbia also scored a 6-5 victory over Rome.

At about 2:44 p.m., as totality ended, the streets of Columbia, and the area, were filled with traffic, leaving to go back home. The SCDOT issued a traffic alert for I-20 westbound, with heavy congestion from Lexington County to the Georgia state line. The SCDOT warned motorists to expect delays. There was also heavy traffic, according to SCDOT, on I-77 northbound from Columbia. 

But for days- or the Total Eclipse Weekend- Columbia was a destination point.

And from all early returns, the whole event, from a tourism standpoint to the weather, it was a success.