It's not often the city of McMinnville gets to play host to a party with an international guest list, but that's exactly what happened Monday on Court Square.
Visitors from across the country -- and even overseas -- converged on our fine town for the solar eclipse and they were genuinely delighted by our hospitality. Even the TV news crew covering the event made a point to mention how accommodating city officials were in addressing their needs.
Everyone deserves a giant pat on the back for the solar eclipse party, beginning with the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Board members began planning the party months ago after Vice Mayor Ben Newman mentioned other communities in the path of the eclipse were having similar celebrations.
Main Street McMinnville and the Chamber of Commerce joined in and managed to land a Pink Floyd cover band to play songs from the classic album "Dark Side of the Moon." The band was quite talented and added a fitting touch to the festive atmosphere.
Playing the theme song from "2001: A Space Odyssey" was an absolutely perfect salute to a celestial event that won't be seen again in Warren County for centuries.
With the planning in place, all that was left was for the party guests to arrive. And that they did.
Main Street was swarming with visitors who packed into the Park Theater to get a break from the heat and watch live NASA coverage on the big screen. They squeezed through the door at Topz to get frozen yogurt and they waited in lines that stretched across Court Square for Italian ice and Japanese noodles.
There was no need to scurry for eclipse glasses to protect your eyes as they were given away for free.
From upstate New York to Austin, Texas, visitors marked McMinnville on their maps as their destination point and we showed we could entertain with the best.
The solar eclipse was a spectacular event all on its own, even without accompaniment. But the downtown event provided great harmony to make the occasion even more memorable