[Courtesy: The Lebanon Reporter]

A collective cheer arose in downtown Lebanon when the moon totally eclipsed the sun Monday.

Then a reverent hush fell over the downtown Lebanon square and in Memorial Park in Lebanon while, for a few minutes, the sky went dark just after 3 p.m.

Visitors and local folks slapped on their cardboard and plastic eclipse glasses and stared up at the spectacle, smiling and mouthing “wow.” They lounged on the park lawn, the courthouse lawn, downtown business roofs, and along the streets to watch.

A second cheer went up when the moon began moving past the sun and light returned to Earth about three and a half minutes later.

The Heart of Lebanon, a Main Street America organization, sponsored an ‘80s themed three-day festival titled Total Eclipse in the Heart, complete with bands, aerobics exercise, vendors, roller skating and big hair.

Discover Boone County sponsored Get Mooned in Boone, which included celebrations all over the county.

A Pink Droyd Eclipse Concert and laser light show moved indoors due to weather Sunday evening at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds in Lebanon.

The Lebanon event drew crowds from all over Indiana, at least 20 states, and countries as far away as Australia, The Heart of Lebanon President Corey Kutz said. And they were in a buying mood.

Restaurants and hotels throughout town did brisk business, and some visitors called police Sunday night to see where they could safely sleep in their cars without bothering the locals.

Dylan Higgins of Illinois said he and friends slept at a gas station, and he loved all the free entertainment in Lebanon, especially Monday’s band.

Anything eclipse related sold like hotcakes and T-shirts flew out of local shops Crossroads Imprints on the downtown Lebanon square and Daisy’s Designs just around the corner. Indiana Gifts, also on the square, sold more merchandise than at Christmas.

“The downtown vendors are very, very happy,” Kutz said just before totality.

Heart of Lebanon Director Missy Krulik said there was no way to get an exact headcount but that the eclipse event drew many more visitors than The Heart’s Halloween event, Mischief on Meridian, that traditionally draws 6,000 to 7,000.

Lebanon’s Memorial Park filled with vehicles by about 1 p.m., but there was plenty of room to spread out on the lawn. And visitors played basketball, walked their dogs, and filled the playgrounds while they awaited totality.

A group of high school friends and their spouses from Chicago rented a table along Meridian Street downtown and spent the day sipping beer, catching up on each other’s lives, and picnicking.

It was just a three-hour drive for them, Michael Bailey said, adding, “Lebanon is a beautiful city.”

“It’s small-town clean,” his wife, Alesia Bailey, said. “We’re in our glory.”

Traffic flowed easily through Lebanon in the days leading up to Monday and on Monday morning, as visitors trickled in. But many of the visitors, including the Baileys and their Chicago friends, had to leave quickly after the eclipse to get ready for work Tuesday.

Thank you for your upload