Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on one of the Midwest’s most welcoming and charming small towns this April 8, as the ultra-rare total eclipse of the sun puts Mansfield, Ohio and its visitors smack in the middle of the Path of Totality.

The north central Ohio city and its surrounding villages will be plunged into darkness at 3:12 p.m. for 3 minutes, 16 seconds when the moon passes between the sun and Earth during the first total solar eclipse to cover Ohio in 208 years.

Mansfield and its neighboring Richland County villages have created special events for locals and visitors alike, the largest of which takes place at Richland County Fairgrounds. Travelers are encouraged to book accommodations quickly at and to arrive early for viewing and activities, as traffic is expected to be heavy. Similarly, visitors are advised to relax and hang out for awhile to enjoy the local attractions and festival immediately after viewing the eclipse, in order to ease and avoid traffic congestion.

Richland County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a massive OHclipse Mansfield viewing party with seating for 2,500 people, 200 campsites and three days packed with events and activities. A massive marketplace of local vendors and artists, indoor kids play area, souvenir eclipse glasses, food trucks, half a dozen live bands and some of the best viewing in the U.S. will take place on 100 acres with dozens of buildings and shelters, in case of inclement weather. Admission is $5 on Friday, $20 Saturday and Monday and $10 on Sunday. Parking is $20. A four-night tent and RV Camping Package is $500. The two-night package is $400. Both include parking and access to the festival for up to four people. (Nominal Eventbrite fees apply.) Travelers can purchase passes, parking and camping reservations at